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Five-0 Redux

Hiding within our midst

I love when “Hawaii Five-0” sets me up for an exciting episode, full of action and humorous bromance, and yet still manages to leave me in a puddle of tears. While the show always delivers on action, they also seem to know how to pull at my heartstrings.

Many of you may collectively roll your eyes about my sappy tendencies, but if you saw this week’s episode, you may have felt the same way about the conclusion to the team’s complicated case.

The translation of the episode title “Peʻepeʻe Kānaka,” meaning “Those Among Us,” was a clever interpretation of the Hawaiian word “peʻe” which means “to hide oneself; clandestine.” I also thought of the word “hoʻopeʻepeʻe” which means “camouflage.” Both are appropriate terms for the underlying theme threaded throughout the storyline. “Kānaka” is the plural of “man”— and the idea of men hiding or camouflaging themselves among us was exactly the theme that writer John Dove seemed to be shooting for in this episode.

This week McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and the Five-0 team dealt with domestic terrorism and three homegrown student terrorists who are willing to kill and die for their cause. While their cause is Islam and their target Hickam Air Force Base (which in reality is actually Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam), the idea that teenagers born and raised in America would embrace this kind of extreme radicalism is just as frightening as foreign terrorists hiding within our midst.

I’m not trying to play politics or debate ethics or morality— I just think of my home and my friends, both civilian and military, who live and work on or near Hickam, and even if I am watching a television show— I would never want life to imitate art.

Some may have thought that this week’s plot was too farfetched to take place in seemingly insignificant Hawaii, but the fact that our state is strategically the most important spot in the Pacific for our nation’s military, may have had something to do with the thought behind the storyline.

I think the set up of the initial murder of the pool guy Nico Kane (Sam Upton), which led us to the cold-hearted and ill-educated Dawn Hatfield (Sasha Pieterse of “Pretty Little Liars” fame), was a way to ease us into the Islamic radicalism. When McGarrett catches Dawn after she has tried to kill him, Chin (Daniel Dae Kim), and Grover (Chi McBride), he says “so you surf, you kill people, and you make bombs— you’re a real renaissance woman,” I had to laugh at the irony. Only McGarrett is that cool after being shot at by automatic weaponry for several minutes and after pulling a bullet out of Grover’s tactical vest.

“You got lucky twice in one day,” McG tells Grover, after flicking what’s left of the round onto the flood. And yes, Grover, we agree— only McGarrett would see getting shot as lucky.

McGarrett’s luck reference is to Grover catching a “lucky” fish with Chin at the start of the episode. Whatever kind of luck Grover had, it certainly was with the team in this episode. They got a few lucky breaks in order to solve their case— but also to find out who killed four Marines, and maimed another, in a convoy hit by an IED in Afghanistan.

Long story short— the FBI has a database of all IED’s used against our troops— so that they can keep track of types, perhaps who makes them, and they also dust for fingerprints to see if they can catch who killed or attacked our soldiers, in order to place them on watch lists and keep them out of our country. This is true in reality— in 2003, the FBI established the Terrorist Explosive Devices Analytical Center, or TEDAC.

So life influencing art—because that was the most fascinating part of the episode. When FBI Analyst Katie Halinan (Eden Riegel) helps Chin find out who was teaching the three students how to make IED’s, by tracing the IED sketches Chin found in Dawn and Brian’s house, back to a bomb made in Afghanistan, I thought that was a great idea for a plot point. The information also helps the team solve the case, as the information from the FBI led them to Uday Jahani (Jorge Alfredo Martinez) and Rahim Ahad (Ahmad Tadjvar) who were hiding in Hawaii like they had never killed or taken the legs and arm of anyone.

Which of course, leads us to the most touching part of the episode, when McG and Danno (Scott Caan) make their way to San Diego to give the news of the arrests of Jahani and Ahad to Kirk Emerson (played by real life Iraq War Veteran and Triple Amputee Bryan Anderson).

When they see all the injured soldiers going through physical therapy, and Danno tells McG to basically “punch him in the head” if he ever complains about pain when he attends his own PT sessions (a reference to his injury from the building collapse in “Kū I Ka Pili Koko”), I was moved as well by all the courage displayed on my screen.

When Emerson asks how to say thank you in Hawaiian, I was tearing before he even said “Mahalo” and shook McGarrett and Danno’s hands.

But I’m a softie. And when “Hawaii Five-0” delivers a great episode with so much action and movement— seriously, the scene when the kid jumps to the next building with McG and Chin hot on his heels, then add a gun fight, a lights-and-sirens take down, as well as intense interrogation of a blindly misguided suspect— and then give me a heartbreaking moment— I’m ready to have a scene with the Five-0 ʻohana kicking back with friends and food.

Which of course, is always a perfect way to end an episode. I know we all love seeing the team hanging out, teasing each other, and betting on something or other— this time- a “fish off” between Grover and McG.

It all came together when I asked Director Jeff Cadiente what he thought about directing this episode. “I was excited to tell a good story. Not just direct action and stunts, but to direct real and touching moments. [It was] my favorite project ever! [It] has a perfect balance of humor, action, drama, and sense of true ʻohana. And it deals with a very serious and real threat in our world. I’m very, very proud of this episode,” said Cadiente.

And he should be proud. It was a perfect balance of all the elements we love about “Hawaii Five-0.” It also reminded me that, while I know we have dangerous people hiding hiding in our midst— we also have heroes amongst us— and thankfully, McGarrett is right. For every one who plots against us, there are a thousand of us who will fight to protect what we have and hold dear. Perhaps not a thousand McG’s, but some who are pretty close. Like Mr. Anderson and his fellow soldiers, sailors, and marines.


This week’s episode could not be complete without mentioning the Hawaii talent that shone through the serious nature of the procedural.

As always it is wonderful to see Dennis Chun return as our steadfast “Sgt. Duke Lukela.” And while we saw him for just a few minutes— informing McGarrett about the lack of incriminating evidence in a suspect’s apartment— when I asked him about working with Jeff Cadiente he was quick to compliment.

“Through my scene was brief, Jeff made it totally enjoyable. His leadership creates a very positive atmosphere for an actor to work in. He was very patient and supportive. He’s a true professional. I can see a very productive career ahead of him as a director. [I am] very privileged and humbled to work with him,” said Chun.

Actor Shawn Thomsen reprised his role from the season four opener, this time as HPD Officer, rather than Recruit, Pua Kai. Thomsen flirted heavily with Kono (Grace Park), letting her know that “if things went south with Mr. Ten”— her reference to how serious she was with her boyfriend Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale), that she shouldn’t hold back, as once he got his detective shield, he was going to be “quite a catch.” Looking forward to seeing more of his laid back humor in future episodes.

Thomasen joined fellow island funny men, Taylor Wily “Kamekona” and Shawn Mokuahi Garnett “Flippa” at the end of the episode pāʻina. I spoke to Garnett last week for the Redux, and hope to talk to Thomasen about his experience with Five-0 in the near future.

Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

18 responses to “Hiding within our midst”

  1. Dina says:

    Another GR8 review! I am curious to see how the new “officer” plays out into S5- comic relief or someone that Kono will “need” in next season for some assistance?? I thought Chi was fabulous I have loved him in every role I ever saw him in – he is just charm, wit, and more than enough to go toe to toe with McG! Yes I like how they “explain” the lack of Danno- ( hoping he and Amber are happy yet fleeting???!!!!!!) But I am not “worried” that Danno will not be Steve’s partner in S5 and that Chi is replacing any bromance- no matter how many tweets say so. They are definitely setting up Cath departure and I thought well in this episode that Danno states how Cath is “missing” But it would of been nice to have a comment in another episode prior- alas I am not complaining just stating an opinion ;=) Cath leaving will be a loss for me but not in the realm of that i will not watch the show any longer.
    I always enjoy how much TPTB do and display in the show about our military. Truly a wonderful piece of H50 does better than even long term shows like NCIS-
    thanks again Wendie

  2. Angela Gerstner says:

    Jeff is perfectly right – This is an episode he can be very, very proud of! He did an excellent job – just like the rest of the team under his direction.

    I just smiled when I read his comment that the episode had the “perfect balance of humor, action, drama etc.” because it’s similar to what I wrote a little earlier about this episode on my own page. Here’s how I put it: “Ep. 4.20 delivered the perfect mix of thrill and action, loads of fun with humourful dialogues, fantastic acting (especially by Alex) and, last but not least, one of those highly emotional moments that move me to tears – in this case when Steve and Danno pay a visit to a veterans’ hospital.”

    In short, I could have just said that I absolutely loved the episode for many reasons!

  3. Terry FiveOs says:

    I was impressed with Jeff Cadiente’s directorial debut last year, but in this one he surpassed my expectations. It didn’t matter if the scene was meant to be intense, action-filled, touching, or comedic, Jeff got the right performances from his actors. And I had to thank him last night for so many gorgeous McGarrett shots!! He’s my new hero. 🙂

  4. KAD1228 says:

    Jeff did an excellent job directing. This one was even better than his first. It was an excellent episode. There was enough “fun” moments to lighten the intense subject. I was moved to tears by the scene with the real life vet. But most impressive was Alex’s acting. He did a most excellent job portraying the BAMF seal, the confused citizen and grateful comrade in arms. I’ve added this to my list of favorites along with Hookman and the Pearl Harbor episodes. Absolutely amazing.

  5. jlopie1 says:

    I had no idea what to expect from this episode as it seemed to be kept pretty much under wraps! Sure, We knew Chin and Lou were going spear fishing and Steve was going to take another flying leap between buildings, but I didn’t know anything about the crime of the week.

    Can I say I was overwhelming surprised by the seriousness and drama of this story? Sure I can. Jeff Cadiente completely impressed me – we KNOW he can direct action scenes and stunts, but now it’s obvious he know what he’s doing with emotional scenes as well!

    4.20 tugged at all my emotions. It built upon a rather light hearted game of one-up-manship to a sobering reflection on the reality we live in today by way of introducing young, brainwashed American students willing to die for the “cause.” It followed it’s course by progressing to the incredibly powerful scene in the VA hospital, and no one could possibly have had a dry eye at that point. Tensions were relieved and the values of what it means to live in freedom were revisited with the Ohana moment at the end.

    Beautifully written, directed and acted. This is the type of H50 episode I look forward to, and the one I will watch over and over all summer!

    Thanks for another great review, Wendie!

  6. Kate J says:

    Really nice recap, Wendie! There was so much to love about this episode, I don’t know where to start! I think Five-0 is at it’s best when the task force is focusing on these kinds of cases, where national security is involved. Alex was really on top of his game with this one acting-wise. Jeff Cadiente did a great job with both directing and the stunts.

    Loved Shawn Thompsen. It’s nice to see him as a recurring character. Makes me laugh every time! I look forward to your interview with him. 🙂

    The tribute to the veterans was really touching. We happened to arrive in Honolulu just as this episode was wrapping and had the good fortune of meeting Bryan Anderson. We were able to chat with him for quite a while. He is incredible person with a truly positive attitude – one of those people you’re glad to have had a chance to meet. He did a great job with his part. It was a very touching scene.

  7. Brenda says:

    Thanks Wendie for another great recap and the opportunity to comment on the episode.

    Five-0 continues to come up with new storylines that bring action together with heartfelt character development to entertain fans and end a long work week in a perfect way.

    And leave it to our favorite Aussie to remind us how proud we are to be American and to understand why our military men and women fight for precious freedom. And to people across the globe believing what they believe and how wrong things can go so easily when following zealots. Hmmm guessing this struck a chord for me. Wishing world wide peace in real life and leave the scary stuff to hollywood.

    Well written and directed episode IMO.

  8. Linda M. Stein says:

    Great review again Wendie. Sorry I’m so late to post today. I was out all day with family obligations but I couldn’t let a #TGIFive0 Saturday go by without checking out the Redux!

    I have to say that this episode totally freaked me out. It’s been my biggest fear for our country, ever since Oklahoma City. Not so much of terrorists coming over here from overseas to cause havoc but home grown terrorists. Like Dawn said, they could be anyone..anywhere. That is truly scary. She sent chills down my spine with how coldhearted she was about it all.

    Like you, I really loved Chin and Grover spear fishing, it was really funny. Even though we DID see the clip online before the episode, Steve’s reaction to Grover bagging the bigger fish was priceless. “Old, senile, depressed fish” ROFLAMO. Oh Steve, I love you, you know that, but you are such a sore loser! LOL And I don’t recall hearing why Scott was in this episode so little but his small contributions were very enjoyable. AND he and Steve said I LOVE YOU again! ROFL The McDannos must be beside themselves.

    The ending with the Afghanistan vet in the VA hospital really choked me up. We say
    it all the time but it bears repeating. NO SHOW does a better job of honoring our
    Vets, both past and present, like ‪#‎H50‬. They do them great honor every time they
    tackle a story with a military angle.

    This episode was really well done. Had me on the edge of my seat the
    entire time. I can’t believe there are only two episodes of this season
    left. For me, it’s going down as my 2nd favorite season after Season 1
    and I have to admit…it may be drawing pretty damn close to that too.

  9. Sylvie Turgeon says:

    Thanks for that review. I liked watching this episode of Hawai 5-0. I like when Steve made his speech to the young terrorist lady. He was so convincing ( unfortunatly, this lady was too much brainwashed.) I did not know that Alex could play and plead like this ( that ‘s what he did). Unfortunatly, islamic people are amongs us, and they are subtily invading our north america ( in Canada too) with their values, their religion , and their drastic views of how the world should work. We have to be aware of this invasion and be very carefull…

    • Terry FiveOs says:

      Sylvie, this was about people who have corrupted the Koran to fit their own hatreds, just like some fundamentalist Christians do with the Bible. 99.99% of Muslims are not violent extremists, and they share the same values as other religions.

  10. Jetstar99999 says:

    are they sure that house in the opening is in Lanikai?

    • Jetstar99999 says:

      Ok I got my own answer. I see where that house is now, its off Portlock Road overlooking Maunalua Bay, East Oahu, not Lanikai as they (for whatever reason) subtitled in the scene.

      • Wendie Joy says:

        Sorry- I asked around and never got a response, but it looked like the house was in Portlock to me as well. Producers will often label a home in a different neighborhood so that folks don’t go looking for the house- esp. if it is privately owned. Thanks for commenting! Aloha- Wendie

  11. Angie Gincel says:

    Thanks for another great review! I truly enjoyed this episode. It was serious and frightening at the same time. Like you, I enjoyed the new officer’s flirtation with Kono. I like her saying her boyfriend is a “ten”. Made me smile and thought of Adam. Hope to see him again soon!

  12. alex fan says:

    Another great episode and as always another great review. I have been reading a lot about the anti-Islamic message the show sent, my feelings on this has to be stated as plainly as I possibly can so here goes. Home grown terrorists are everywhere, we may not see them and like the show said, they may be our neighbors and we just don’t know it. As far as the show expressing anti-anything, well in my opinion Hawaii Five-0, it’s Executive Producers and the writers only show being Anti against anyone harming or threatening the well being of others, they express concern for EVERYONE even the bad guys and don’t just go around having the characters killed unless provoked, this show does not come across as a bunch of trigger happy gunslingers. If there is a complaint about how a certain group is presented then all I can say is WATCH the entire show, listen to the dialogue and hear the message that is always delivered in an emotional gut wrenching way. More people need to read your review Wendie, because if they didn’t understand the show, didn’t watch it and just want to complain, your review would break down the show for them. Some people may watch a show and hear only what they want to hear, see what they want to see and then complain about everything, they also will hear a word here and there and put a totally different meaning to it, to these people again I say watch, listen and read the great review Wendie does and learn from them both. Tirade over, thank you 🙂

  13. Diane says:

    Great episode. It does make you think about who lives in your neighborhood. But becoming paranoid about everybody defeats the purpose of living our way of life. We need to keep our eyes open and report any truly suspicious activity, but we need to remember that the majority of any race, religion, or country are good people just living their lives, trying to make a better place for their family and values. Our way of life means respecting others ideas, those who truly go by their religion know harming others is not what their religion is about. A terrorist is a terrorist no matter which god they try to hide behind.

    Loved the McDanno moments, taking the time to visit the veterans rehab center in San Diego was heart tugging, and Wendie you were not alone with the tears. H50 using actual veterans shows that the show does care about those who have sacrificed so much for us to keep our way of life. Grover and Chin fishing was priceless. I love the way this character blends into the H50 Ohana.

  14. pauldunn1 says:

    Another great review and ep. I cannot add to the other posts as they have covered the subject well. However I would be remiss if I did not bring up the fact that I think I heard Chin mention “Fong” during his recap of the investigation. Perhaps on the next ep we will see him. The ep handled a subject that affects us all: there really are people out there who want to kill us and destroy our way of life.


  15. Darci says:

    This was one of the best episodes all season. The plot and setup was really believable and sort of frightening, the action scenes were really intense, too.

    One odd thing. I totally love the song “Say It, Just Say It” by The Mowgli’s, but it seemed kind of odd to use it during the scene when Uday Jahani is watching his son play lacrosse and Grover and a swarm of agents arrive and arrest him. Again that’s one of my favorite songs, but it’s so triumphant and joyous sounding, I’m not sure it fit here- would’ve been better at the end credits.

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