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Five-0 Redux

In too deep

Leave it to “Hawaii Five-0” to remind us that chasing bad guys, avoiding bullets and getting punched in the face is a whole lot easier than taking care of a wee little baby.

If you’ve ever had to change your shirt because it was covered in peas, make up a story on the spot, or been charged with diaper duty, you are most likely nodding your head in agreement right now. Babies are adorable, but as our friendly Five-0 team proved this week, it was probably easier to break Chin Ho out of Halawa Correctional Facility than it was to babysit Mary Ann McGarrett’s newly adopted daughter, Joan.

And while we may have loved McG’s flighty sis (played by recurring cast member Taryn Manning) in the past, she’s hardly mommy material. Over the last three seasons she’s been detained twice by TSA, almost gone to jail for smuggling, changed jobs several times, and her love life has been nowhere near idyllic. So now she’s responsible enough to adopt a baby?

Yes, I know, it’s a television show, but if you just look at her own mother as a role model, no one should let Mary Ann near children.

She was great with the old gent she cared for in “‘Ōhuna,” but being a companion to an adult is far different than raising and caring for a child. I was glad both McG and Danno voiced my doubts about Mary Ann’s ability to parent. But at least she was smart enough to reach out to folks who are responsible and have the means and rationale to care for an infant — Uncles Steve, Danno, and Chin Ho.

Along with the “Three Men and a Baby” cuteness that infiltrated this week’s episode, “Ua Nalohia” (“In Deep”), the overall procedural was interesting and kept the team on their toes.

The very loose translation of “Ua Nalohia” corresponds to the police procedural part of the episode, about ATF undercover agent Matt Hutchins (Hawaii-based actor West LeClay) being in too deep in a three-year sting operation to catch a gun and drug dealer.

Alvin Joiner, better known as hip-hop artist and television personality Xzibit, played JC Dekker, the bad guy who thought Hutchins was his friend, and for most of the episode I wondered if he really was a bad guy. I almost felt bad when McG arrested him at the end.

While Xzibit wasn’t billed by his famous moniker (he was listed as Alvin Joiner and not mentioned in a press release as a featured guest star), actress Daryl Hannah was — yet she only had a five-minute scene with Scott Caan and Baby Joan. And while she gave the team a clue that helped solve who killed Hutchins and tried to turn him into shark bait, she really didn’t have much of a chance to shine.

But it was great to see recurring cast member Chi McBride as Captain Lou Grover, which really helped amp up the action. Sure, Grover brought the SWAT guns in and added some macho moves to challenge McG in both the shootout scene and the operation at the Honolulu Zoo, but when Grover tried to buy Chin’s Wailana Coffee House pancake breakfast and made an attempt to play toward Chin’s loyalty to his “true” brothers in blue, it really confirmed his thoughts and feelings about Five-0 and McGarrett.

For Grover to say that McGarrett is “not a real cop” was insulting at best, and Chin turning down his breakfast treat was the perfect response. It’s too bad Chin couldn’t have kept texting Leilani (how cool were those effects?) and left Wailana with a better taste in his mouth.

Yet, I was as glad as McG to see the return of Charlie Fong, played by fan favorite Brian Yang, who has been busy promoting “Linsanity” around the globe. Yang helped produce the stellar documentary about NBA star Jeremy Lin, and has not been seen on “Hawaii Five-0” since last May in the season finale “Aloha. Malama Pono,” when he was unceremoniously stabbed by Michael Noshimuri (Daniel Henney).

Needless to say, it was great to see the Fonger “making up for lost time” back in his lab and looking as smart and handsome as ever. They need to stop hurting our geek gods (Fonger stabbed and Max shot in season three, and last week Max almost turning into a zombie).

While the overall investigation moved along and was easy to predict, the side stories were much more interesting to me. They definitely hung on to the theme of being “in deep.” McG and Cath (Michelle Borth) getting dressed in the opening and having a serious conversation about her walking into her own “investigation” of Yakuza henchman Hideaki Kuroda (Brian Tee of “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift” and “The Wolverine” fame) in order to find Sato, and eventually Adam Noshimuri, was sexy and serious at the same time.

McG’s concern was palpable, and when he handed Cath his Five-0 badge, it was a nice foreshadowing of the episode’s ending scene. Cath was pretty deep into this investigation, fueled only by friendship and love for Chin, as well as for her friend Kono. But when things turned and she was fighting for her life, it turned the title into “in too deep” pretty quickly.

Watching Cath kick some major Yakuza butt was one of the best fight scenes this season. Stunt Coordinator Jeff Cadiente did an amazing job setting up the restroom brawl between tiny Borth and tough guy Tee, which was both fast and furiously cool. I’m glad she got the information to hopefully find Adam so the team can bring Kono and Adam back. And soon.

The team doesn’t seem the same without Kono; and now when I say team, I do include Cath. I think she offers an interesting dimension to the original four, and if we look at how much she has actually worked with McG and the team in the past, she has always been there, just not officially until McG “deputized” her and handed her a Five-0 shield.

Yet the best scenes of the episode had to have been McG and Danno with baby Joan. How could you not love watching McG toss her into the air, and Danno telling her a lovely story about a handsome prince who has his black stallion taken away by a selfish hairy ogre? O’Loughlin and Caan played proud fathers really well, and while O’Loughlin is a real-life dad and Caan plays one on TV, both made it look really adorable and pretty sexy. It also helped that Baby Joan (who was uncredited on the CBS press site) was utterly perfect.

Overall, this week’s episode was a good one with some nice humor, cool action, and lots of cuteness. While lighter in nature than past episodes this season, it was worth watching the team get in too deep with their case, a sweet niece, and now, a new team member. I just hope the dive into these new depths pays off in the end.

Redux Side Note:

This week TNT changed their “Hawaii Five-0” nights around and showed “Ka Meʻe” (“The Hero”) on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and “Mea Makamae” (“Treasure”) on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Hawaii-based actress Cathy Foy, who played Nani, Chin Ho’s favorite Wailana Coffee House waitress, was also in the original “Hawaii Five-0” in 1978 as a receptionist and in 1979 as a telephone operator. A former Miss Hawaii, she is known for her stage work in Hawaii and on Broadway, as well as for her role as “Bloody Mary” in the 2011 national tour of “South Pacific.”
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

17 responses to “In too deep”

  1. Dina says:

    Wendie- how do you do it-?? state the facts , give a flawless but honest and non bias review!!! YOU ROCK!!!! a perfect review one for ALL TO read!

  2. Ryan Fluck says:

    Amazing job Wendie! Although I do correct you on one thing, Max was shot in season 2, Charlie was stabbed in season 3

  3. alex fan says:

    Great review Wendie! Totally agree with everything. I love seeing the 3 three guys and the baby. Chin should get extra mention because of his stinky pea shirt. Watching Steve with the baby was perfection. I really feel last night was the perfect mix and what I’ve been waiting for this season.

  4. jlopie1 says:

    Hey, Wendie, thanks for another stellar H5-0 review! Loved this episode and totally intrigued with the play between Grover and McGarrett! Reminds me of the S1 dynamic between Danny and Steve. I would like to see a scene between Danny & Grover commiserating over Longboards! But in the end, Danny will always have Steve’s back – not sure if Grover would! I’m really looking forward to more of this relationship!

    I enjoyed this week’s crime and I followed along fairly well! I even correctly identified the perp long before the take down! Point for Lynnette!

    Baby Joan and her 3 uncles were the cutest thing on TV this week! Who could ask for more! Mary as a Mom? Well, I think she’s attempting to find some love in her life that was lacking – she’s trying to be the mother she never had herself. I sincerely hope she’s successful! I’d love to see Mary become a wonderful mom!

    The show has certainly moved forward over the last 3 1/2 seasons! I’m actually very happy to see this. I don’t want to just hit my replay button every week and see the same old same old all the time. We now officially have a new team member. Great! Have at it, Catherine. Now, hurry up and find Sato and Adam so we can get Kono back on the island!

  5. KAD1228 says:

    I was very upset by Grover’s trying to buy Chins loyalty as much as his slur of Steve. Can you imagine what his reaction will be when he learns about Catherine. It was a cute episode, the baby bringing out the best in the guys. I was happy to see Charlie in all his hotness and at least Steve acknowledged his return – PL swept Fong’s story under the rug. To me the fight scene was completely unrealistic. He looked he hit a freight train and she had nary a scratch. I really can’t wait for Kono’s return and I hope that becomes Caths only job, to find Kono and Adam and have the guys bring them home safely.

  6. Amazing review that says all 🙂
    I love this episode and all in it was great 🙂
    this season has been fantastic –

    again MAHALO for this great review, always true and well-said

  7. Angela Gerstner says:

    This was an awesome episode! The writers kept it very well-balanced with a great mix of cute, funny baby scenes and some really cool action, as well.
    Cath’s fight in the bathroom has definitely earned her the H50 badge! The fact that she risked her life in that fight because she cares so much about Kono, makes her a well-deserved member of the H50 `Ohana. She’s as good at kicking butts as Kono, and even though I’m looking forward to Kono coming back soon, I think the team can use another tough, smart and caring lady like Cath – even after Kono’s return. So Welcome to Five-0 from me, too!

    About the other women on the show: I do share Steve’s doubts about his sister’s ability to raise a child. And it is, indeed, highly unlikely that anyone would have let Mary adopt a baby in “real life” since she’s been struggling to cope with her own life for years. By the way, I happily volunteer to adopt this adorable baby girl if Steve turns out to be right about his sister’s lack of “maternal aptitude” – and so would nearly 100% of the female viewers, I assume (They’d probably want to adopt the uncle, too :-)) – despite those difficulties involved in baby-sitting, like trying to avoid getting strained peas all over one’s shirt and having to change smelly diapers 🙂

    This episode was the perfect treat for the female fans – We got Steve “wearing” just a towel in the very first minute, which was a nice way to start the episode (Big grin on my face), and we got those sweet and funny moments with the uncles taking care of cutie-pie Joan. Those baby moments alone would have made this episode one of my season favorites but there was more to like this week.
    I could have cheered and hugged Chin for turning down the money from Lt. Grover and, thus, showing his loyalty to Steve. This Grover dude had better watch what he says and not insult our favourite Navy Seal. Steve might not be a “real cop” but as a trained Navy Seal he sure does a great job at chasing down those criminals – and that’s all that counts.

    Like you and Steve, I was also very happy to see Charlie back in his lab!

    Thanks for another fantastic review, Wendie. As so often, I agree with you on almost everything BUT I’d say that rescuing Chin from Halawa was a little bit more difficult than taking care of Steve’s niece 🙂

  8. Luna McAwesomesauce says:

    You always give great reviews! I appreciate that you can be fair and unbiased while sharing your opinion. Mahalo!! I only enjoyed parts of the episode. It’s the truth.

  9. LindaStein says:

    Great review Wendie! I don’t know why my posts keep going to moderation so this one will be short and sweet and hopefully it will actually post.

    This episode will go down as one of my favorites because of everything you have pointed out in your review but especially for that adorable baby. I don’t know who she is but she is a natural. Her facial expressions were PERFECT in every single shot. I can’t wait to see the gag reel of this episode when the DVDs come out because she couldn’t really be that perfect! Just too adorable and she brought out the adorableness in all the guys. Their reactions to her were priceless. So cute to see how far Steve has come from the gruff SEAL who had no idea how to react to children in Season 1 to this big softy melting down into a gooey puddle with that baby girl. I just loved it.

  10. Diane says:

    Thanks for the Review Wendy. I agree with you. This was a great episode, had a little of everything. Glad to see Fong back in one piece. I admit I was not a fan in the beginning of Catherine joining the team, I wanted her on the show and as McG’s love interest, but on the team was a different story. Now that I have gotten to know this character better, I think its a good fit. I can’t wait until Kono comes back, and to have Catherine be one of the main reasons why she is able to come back, is a good play by the writers. Loved the baby scenes, looking forward to more. The plot was great also. Grover saying to Chin, that maybe they would not show up for back up, made me not like him very much. What cop would do that? I think its a good contrast to 5-0, much like Doris, I like that the character is there and the actor that plays them, but probably would not like them as a real person. That’s what good acting does.

  11. Robin Jane Bridges says:

    I loved the episode. I liked that showed another side of the guys, normally tough and gruff, to smiles and silly faces. I liked Catherine scenes, too. but if she stays with H50 the bad guys will know she works for them. But that is what disguises are for. Grover and Steve will come together eventually, after several shoots out together.

  12. alavenia says:

    I loved this episode, the fight scene between Cath and the Yakuza was awesome, and I am so happy that finally Cath is a part of the team, and I am looking foward to see her helping Kono and Adam, thank you Wendie for another incredible review!!!!

  13. pauldunn1 says:

    Sorry I am a little late this week. I agree fully with your excellent recap along with the comments of my fellow posters. I do need to point out that the Fonger is back on the show all together, as mentioned by another poster. He does add to the show. I believe this ep had all sorts of good things and helped move the storyline along.


  14. SaintsMeachum says:

    When McG gave Cath, the Five-0 badge, I just thought, “Oh okay, just for protection.” But then when the dude asked who the hell she was and she said she was Five-0, I knew for sure that was their way of saying she’s gonna be a part of Five-0 from now on.

  15. FIVE0JOE says:

    Im of the belief that Grover is the man! hes by the book and is shattering my hero image of McG. and no Steve isnt a cop hes said it himself.I really like the realism Grover brings them down to earth and has made us at least think. i know from spoilers they apparently develop a respect for one another but I gotta say, everything Grover has said and done is straight up accurate- you dont go into a gun battle outnumbered, ect. ps- steve is still my hero- Loving the season – wasnt sure how they were gonna handle grace park’s absence but big credit to the powers that be for filming shots last year. Still miss her but It will be an awesome episode when she is back!! I like what they are doing with the characters and yes I love that Catherine is on the team – its a good character and if they play it rite, I think this will bring some major interpersonal issues between her and Steve, working for your lover , so much material there. Chin and Danno get some good stuff coming up and the Carol Brunett episode and the internment camp episode I’m so looking forward to . they really are blowing it out of the park with their guest stars this year. “side note” – who on earth would anyone give Mary a baby to adopt- lol well, it was a terrific episode anyway. very cute and alot of fun – i found myself glancing at the clock and it was ten to ten and I couldnt believe it was almost over . My only wish , other than spending a couple of days hanging with the boys on set-lol, is that they do some “to be continued” two parters with cliffhangers. that was always so much fun on other shows in the past when it was done regularly – and of course crossovers are always the most exciting. Bravo five-0 for staying fresh and exciting

  16. FIVE0JOE says:

    didnt mean to repeat myself – moderation i was told lost my first post -but it was a great review again wendie my bestie – love u – say hi to chief and d bug for me !! xoxoxo

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