Oh, “Hawaii Five-0.” How you tease us with your “A Hero Will Fall” promo, complete with McGarrett at Catherine’s bedside looking so lost, that I’m sure half of the “Five-0” fandom thought he was going to lose his best girl. I bet there was more wringing of hands and anxiety-filled neck rubbing about the noticeable shortage of right-hand-man-BFF Danno than about Cath’s much-hyped hospital stay.
Yet, we did lose another hero, just not the character we were lead to believe. But that’s okay; what kind of show would it be if no one was ever threatened and no one faced any danger, random gunfire, or blood loss every week?
This week’s episode, “Kupuʻeu,” ￼was creatively translated as “Fallen Hero,” although it actually means “rascal” or “scamp” before the secondary definition of “hero” or “wondrous one.” Kupu’eu are more the embodiment of a hero who is rebellious and doesn’t adhere to normal rules of society.
Seems to sum up a Navy SEAL rather perfectly, don’t you think?
So, perhaps the title fits. If you think about the types of SEALs “Hawaii Five-0” has created for us: McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Joe White (Terry O’Quinn), Wade Gutches (David Keith), Freddie Hart (Alan Ritchson) and Billy Harrington (Justin Bruening), each one almost perfect embodiments of the definition of “kupuʻeu.” Rascals. Scamps. Mischievous men who show their exemption from the taboos of ordinary men.
Yes, I’d say that would describe these SEAL brothers without a doubt.
While this episode dealt more with the death of Billy Harrington, shot during a seemingly routine surveillance of a cheating husband (Paul Bauer). Billy and Catherine (Michelle Borth) were both caught in the crossfire of a professional hit, commissioned by what McGarrett at first thought was the work of the “first oldest motive” — a woman scorned.
In typical “Five-0” fashion, the red herrings were three-fold this week. First it was the cheating husband’s wife, Sandra Cutler (Monica Lacy), then it became the cheating husband’s betrayed partner in crime Lee Benner (Larry Poincexter), then his call-girl mistress Abby Maxwell (Lacey Beeman). All of whom lead you away from the real culprit, the call-girl’s assistant Andrew Burns (Logan Fahey), who was so in love with his boss he hired hitman Jason Kroll (John Mark Harmon) to kill the one person she thought would make her an honest woman.
McGarrett’s second oldest motive — unrequited love — seems to have won this round.
We also saw the continuation of the Momma McG mystery. Not only did we see the return of Joe White, but we were also reminded of our old enigma, the Champ box, and all of its returned clues and evidence once believed stolen and lost forever.
Didn’t see that one coming, did you? (And don’t tell me you didn’t think, “Is Joe looking at the hatch numbers?” All you “LOST” fans had a little moment, didn’t you?)
I did like the scene between Danno (Scott Caan) and Joe White driving along a haul cane road, with Danno trying to have a cargument with a reluctant Joe, who pointedly asks him, “Is this what you and Steve do? Bicker like an old married couple?”
Why yes, Joe, that is what they do. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Alas, Joe won’t play along, but his advice to Danno is great: “If we start turning over rocks we may be more afraid of what crawls out.” In the case of Momma McG, which is who McG wants Joe to find, I’m not surprised at Joe’s analysis of the situation.
But Joe is also right about one other thing; when Steve looks at him he sees an ulterior motive, and when he looks at Danno he sees a friend. But Danno actually has to be in the episode to offer his help, and while he did offer Cath a sympathetic hug for Billy’s death and McG his help to find the killer of a fellow SEAL, it was Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) who did all the heavy lifting.
Catherine took the other lead in the case, as she was Billy’s friend, business partner, and felt completely responsible for his death. All legitimate reasons for her being on the case. Still, I missed Danno. It doesn’t feel the same without him. Or Kono.
I really miss Kono. Even the small snippets of interplay of Kono and Adam on the run are just not enough. It’s like getting to have one mini-Snickers on Halloween night. I need more sugar to get my fix. But the scenes they are slowly doling out are so intriguing. I really hope we get an episode where the team comes to her aid, and brings the two of them home safe and sound. I love all the Romeo and Juliet stuff, but my nerves are shot.
Now, with Adam sacrificing himself for Kono so she can get away and Kono telling Chin, “I love you cuz, but I’m not coming home without Adam,” it looks like this storyline is going to be played out like the sweet torture it’s been set up to be for all the fans. Just lovely.
All in all, it was a good episode. I loved the drama with Kono; Billy and Cath’s shootout; McG’s anxiety; and all the respectful treatment during Billy’s passing. How Joe informs the morgue attendant (Chad Takesue) about Billy and what he has done for our country, and the moving military funeral on the bow of a US Navy ship, as well as the lovely post-funeral Irish ceremony at O’Toole’s Irish Pub, complete with the singing of “The Minstrel Boy” really brought home the symbolic nature of the title.
Episode director Jeff Hunt shared with me last February how much he respects the military and all they do to serve our country. This was evident in the respect and care he took to show the moving tribute of the 21-gun salute, the presenting of the colors, and the playing of “Taps” at Billy’s funeral.
Hunt is well known for his action filled episodes, and since we opened with Kono and Adam trying to run from the Yakuza; Cath and Billy in a gunfight; McG and Cath chasing the lolo who “found” the victim’s car with the keys in the ignition; and included a bathroom shootout with the killer for hire, I’d say there was enough action for Hunt to shine. Still, the stronger scenes of tension and drama were nicely paced and played out. I wanted a better procedural, but I think I say that every week when the story that holds all the better parts of “Five-0” together is sort of ho-hum.
I’m just glad that Billy was laid to rest as a good guy. Every SEAL brother should get the same treatment.
Redux Side Note
This week’s TNT episodes were two fan favorites: “Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau” (“Until the End is Near”) and “‘Oia‘i‘o” (“Trust”), both episodes that ended season one.
Next week will be the third annual Halloween episode, airing Friday, Nov. 1, and it looks like this year it will be about zombies. I suppose if you have had two significant actors from “The Walking Dead” (Norman Reedus, who played Anton Hesse, and Lew Temple, who played Stuart Rizzi, in “Kahu”) already on “Hawaii Five-0,” I guess the actual zombies aren’t too far behind.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.