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Five-0 Redux

Serving justice

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Sometimes after watching “Hawaii Five-0” I wonder how I make it through the hour each week. Rarely do I find myself cursing death and other means of pain on the makers of the show.

I was mad. Spitting fire big time, completely and justifiably angry at writers Peter Lenkov and Ken Solarz along with director Larry Teng.

Sorry, gents, but while I watched the much-anticipated “Pono Kaulike,” which in Hawaiian means “equal rights and justice for all,” I was so incredibly angry that our heroes were put into a situation in which I truly felt there was no way out.

As I watched the episode I kept writing notes about my feelings of incredulousness. How could this possibly happen? How could Danny (Scott Caan) and Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) both be arrested? And how on earth could McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) not be charged along with them? And how could the very folks who made them heroes bring them down in one fell swoop?

Perhaps I’m still a tiny bit upset. And I know I shouldn’t be, because how the story wrapped up was so incredibly satisfying. What a way to twist me up all in knots and white hot rage and then have me cheering for everyone — including the bad guy?!?

Really. I was cheering. At the same television I had just called a blue streak of very bad names.

Thankfully, my abused television will bounce back. And hopefully, viewers will too. I think what will help is remembering all the good moments in this week’s episode. I’m still trying to figure out how we got a pretty happy ending, even with a peek at the sinister view of what is to come.

But I digress. Let’s start with what really ticked me off and then wrap it up with what had me singing a few hallelujahs toward the end of the episode.

First of all, I had a hard time with the reality of Danny’s arrest. Really, would federal marshals arrest a police detective at a school where he is speaking to his daughter’s class about police work? Most investigative branches have a certain level of respect for their fellow brothers in blue. I would think if federal marshals knew they were going to pick up a fellow cop, they would pick him up in a way for him to at least save face in front of his own daughter.

I know it was a way to get Gracie (Teilor Grubbs) into the storyline and it was a funny scene with Danny and Max (Masi Oka), so that was a way to lighten things up before a lot of the major tension occurred.

Still, to call Danno a murderer and handcuff him in front of a bunch of kids? Not even a, “Can we step outside to talk, Detective Williams?”

I guess it should have been my first clue that this was going to be something more than just a misunderstanding.

I did love how excited Max got about sharing the goriest details about being a coroner and working on dead bodies with middle school children. And I can attest, they really would ask that question about the anal/rectal cavity and use that obviously childish term for that same cavity. Still, the scene just lit my anger on fire and it kept burning through the rest of the episode.

It really flamed up when I saw HPD internal affairs Detective Coughlin (Robert Knepper) and his goons waiting for Chin outside of his house. I seriously hate that guy. While I found him completely unbelievable last season in “Hana Lokomaikaʻi” (“Favor”) and in this episode he was still a jerk, but at least I sort of understood him better.

I still couldn’t figure out why he had it out for Chin, as that was again not made clear. He obviously had more anger for Chin than the “you’re a bad cop and I’m going to prove it” mantra he kept spewing. And for him to make a deal with Gabriel Waincroft (Christopher Sean) really made me view him as a bad cop, more so than what he thought of Chin.

One thing that did not spur my anger was Gabriel. He is a great villain. Like Wo Fat before him, he really is evil, but not so evil that I dislike him. He is going to be very fun to hate. I loved when he killed Coughlin. No kidding; I cheered when he put that pen in that sneaky IA cop’s eye. There was something so Shakespearean about Gabriel killing the man who could make his life easier, as well as help him get revenge on the one man who made his life so tough.

How ironic that Gabriel, yet again, would be the one who saved Chin. When Gabriel called Chin at the end of the episode just to say “You’re welcome,” it spoke volumes because we know it wasn’t really just a courtesy. It was a, “I know what I did for you, and you haven’t heard the last of me.”

What that means for Chin, we’re not sure, but I can’t wait to see how Gabriel returns for his payback.

Another thing that made me really mad, besides Danno being arrested in front of Gracie and Chin being arrested by the smirky faced Coughlin, was CIA agent Sam Alexander (Raphael Sbarge). My anger went from hot to white hot as he talked to Danno and told him he was going to be extradited to Colombia.

I think they heard my screams all the way in South America.

I wasn’t angry at Danno, though, because when he started talking I knew he was going to do whatever CIA Sam wanted him to do if he could protect Gracie and McGarrett, who should have been arrested with him. Not that I wanted McGarrett arrested, mind you, but really — if the arrest had been legitimate, McG would be going down with Danno, too.

But I knew just from looking at Danno’s face, that in some way Danno wanted to be tried for Reyes’s murder. When Danno shot Reyes point blank, I said I was left in a moral quandary because that was what Danno was going through.

Now CIA Sam gives him an option: pay for your crime and save your friend.

Danno, of course, is going to choose to do this because that is the kind of man he is; he believes people should pay for their crimes. I think he was trying to tell Amber about how he felt when he talked about having nightmares. Now, I don’t think he deserved to be thrown to the Colombian prison wolves or sent to die in a foreign country by his own government. But how amazing was it to watch Caan show fear as well as relief when he realized that he was going to pay for what he freely admits he did to Marco Reyes?

Caan had several amazing moments, like the one with Gracie on the phone as he is basically telling her goodbye and that he loves her because he thinks he is going to die in that Colombian prison. It was just heartbreaking. And the moment talking with McGarrett before he reunites with his daughter was another scene that revealed not only more about Danno, but again showed how good Caan is as an actor.

McGarrett had several great moments as well. The sweet scene at the start of the episode with Nahele Huikala (Kekoa Kekumano), the young man McG gave a second chance to after he stole his Mercury Marquis, as well as the scene with Gracie when he told her he loved her and would bring her father back. McGarrett also had a great moment with Kono (Grace Park) when they discussed how they are going to fight to get Chin back. It was a sweet, brotherly hug, and a way to show that no matter what, Chin was not going to be forgotten for what he did for Danno.

This episode definitely reminded me that McGarrett is not anyone to mess with. When he confronted CIA Sam and told him he was in the room with Danno when he murdered Reyes, I knew he was putting himself on the line. When he told Sam he would find the missing cocaine to trade for Danno, then showed him video of the team burning that same cocaine while he held a flash drive with evidence that would ruin not only CIA Sam’s life, but many many others — that was McGarrett at his best.

The fact that he focused the team on their mission — with a little help from Uncle Joe White — made this episode spot on. O’Loughlin is definitely the leader of this group, and his ability as an actor and the way he can be emotional as well as an awesome action hero makes watching him so satisfying. It’s far more than just his good looks and his natural physical ability to handle the stunts and action scenes. It’s about his strength as a leader on and off screen.

Luckily, the team didn’t end up in a South American prison. And thankfully, this episode left me completely anger free and happy that Chin and Danno were out of harm’s way. I especially loved how the unrealistic start got very realistic with the explanation of how all of it happened and where their top secret CIA level intel came from.

Of course Momma McG would be the one to not only help McGarrett’s team, but to save her son as well. I did love that I didn’t really see that part coming. I guess since she has not been in an episode since season three, I haven’t really thought about her still being out there in the wind, still trying to make amends to her son.

Like all good dramas, “Five-0” definitely keeps a few tricks up their sleeves. And I think I am not alone in being very pleased with how they use all of their tricks to create a lot of great magic.


Hawaii fans got a big treat when actor Christopher Sean attended a fan meetup hosted by local bloggers Lisa Woo and Amy Bakari two weeks ago at at Big City Diner Pearlridge.

Sean spoke to fans outside the state via FaceTime and watched “Nānahu” (“Embers”) after taking pictures and talking story with everyone.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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  • Isn’t it interesting how all these big, bad CIA operatives (assets, whatever) are SO freaked out–or whatever you wanna call it–by the records of their activities which have been stored for posterity on various forms of technology (Doris’ missions on the microfiche she hid in Steve’s floor, then had to steal back from Craig T. Nelson’s character; Sam’s & Reyes’–as I understood it–on the flash drive Steve used [again, as I understood it] as blackmail to get Danny back home) that they’ll do pretty much anything to make sure those little bits of technology stay secret?

    Also… I’m kinda not surprised the CIA would make Danny the “fall guy” for Reyes–or that he’d, basically, allow it. I’ve thought that since way back in S2, in the ep where Steve was bringing a captured Wo Fat back from Japan & Five-0, temporarily led by Danny, was investigating the murder of a woman who proved to be another CIA “asset”/officer. Danny, if you remember, got really mouthy & smartass-y with CIA people he probably shouldn’t have, & didn’t show them enough “deference” & respect, While questioning them & trying to figure out what happened to the murdered woman. I thought they’d find a way to make him “pay” after that. And I think Doris let him “twist in the wind”, when she got Steve off, ’cause she didn’t like the “attitude” he showed her either, when they were talking after she arrived in Honolulu. And I think Danny allowed himself to be railroaded because he was a “clean cop (unlike Rick Peterson), & “clean” cops didn’t murder people who weren’t directly threatening them.

  • Well, Wendy, we’ve always known that Scott Caan is an amazing actor, but he really got me this time. For just a breif moment, very breifly, I got so caught up in the episode that I forgot it was fiction. And with how I love Danno, I was very upset by his look of defeat and his anguished call to Grace. Then I pulled myself back in and reminded myself, this isn’t really happening. I consider that the last two episodes have been gifts to the loyal fans. Thank you, Mr. Lenkov. As always, I’ll be watching the episode a few more times. I did agree with Steve that Danno was in more trouble than Chin. Chin would be safe, while Danno was in danger. Chin had gone around with this guy before. Well, we don’t have to worry about him anymore, but Chin’s brother-in law is another story. I had never really seen him as a worthy villian, just some punk kid who thought he had a free pass because his brother-in-law was a cop. But that call to Chin at the end of the episode gave me chills. The look in his eyes. I saw pure evil. Another great actor on 50. And I have to say that I know officially hate Doris. She left Danno in the wind and saved Steve. Does she know what Danno means to Steve and Danno has been there for Steve when she hasn’t. Danno is the one who is trying to help Steve with all his issues that Doris left him. Okay, here I am getting carried away with a TV show again. But, I do hope we see Doris again. If nothing else for Steve to tell her what he thinks of her. And, I still don’t trust Joe White.

  • What a wonderful review Wendie, again you hit on all the questions I had, thank you. I think Alex O’Loughlin just keeps getting better and better and shows the depth of his acting abilities. I also have to say that Terry O’Quinn never fails to draw me in to his character, he can be sneaky and devious and I know I can’t trust him but darn it I just can’t hate the guy. Will this emotion roller coaster ride continue I pray that it does. Peter Lenkov seems to have so many more stories to tell and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

  • I liked last night’s episode. I knew there had to be a cop on the take some where up the food chain for the US Marshall to do what they did. I was wondering where the IA’s partner was at, he should have been there to back up his partner, maybe he didn’t like what his partner was doing. I didn’t like the IA guy, but the pen in the eye, gross! All the actors were great last night. Lou and Frank were funny together. “I know that old hippie didn’t just call me fat.” “He did it again.”

  • I loved the episode and have watched it a few times already! 🙂 I do wish they would do a 2-parter once in awhile. I felt like this episode seemed a bit rushed and would have been the perfect candidate for a “to be continued…” . THAT was my only complaint. I love this show and it’s cast and characters. The acting is top notch and it hope it’s on for many more seasons!!! Thanks for your awesome reviews!

  • Good episode,although a bit strange at times! It did prove that this team is that and more-they are a family and will do anything to help each other! Look forward to seeing Gabriel again!

  • I loved the episode and have watched it a few times already! 🙂 I do wish they would do a 2-parter once in awhile. I felt like this episode seemed a bit rushed and would have been the perfect candidate for a “to be continued…” . THAT was my only complaint. I love this show and it’s cast and characters. The acting is top notch and I hope it’s on for many more seasons!!! Thanks for your awesome reviews!

  • I agree with all you said Wendie. It was really bad that Danny was handcuffed in front of the class. One other thing that bothered me was how could Frank Bama get to Colombia and set up for the raid on the refinery so fast. He normally has been operating on the other side of the world in South Korea. Still, it is Five-0 and I always enjoy it.

  • Wendie, after watching the episode today, I fully understand why you called it a “roller-coaster” on Facebook cause it definitely was – with just one little difference: While I hate roller-coaster rides in real life because they make me sick, I fully enjoyed the virtual roller-coaster ride I was taken on by this episode and the excellent team of writers, actors and director Larry Teng who certainly gave fnas the perfect, memorable “good-bye gift” before leaving the show (Note: Those who happen to read my comment without following the Five-0 Redux FB page might not know that this was the last of 11 awesome episodes directed by Larry who is now working on the show “Graceland”).

    This episode was full of twists and turns, ups and downs – one minute I was laughing or cheering, the next minute I cringed when Danno was kicked by those corrupt prison wardens – and, yes, the U.S. marshals arresting Danno in front of his daughter and her classmates made me angry, too. I don’t think any law-enforcement officer would do this in real life. But it’s a TV show, and the writers try to make it as dramatic as possible (and they definitely achieved that goal!), while they mixed in just enough funny moments (like Max answering the boys’ questions) to ensure that the audience could bear the high tension building up from the moment Danno and Chin were arrested. And, boy, did I hate IA guy Coughlin! Robert Knepper as Coughlin was the “IA equivalent” to Mark Dacascos’ villain Wo Fat. Both are such fantastic actors that they make you hate their characters while the actors are very likeable off screen. While I’ve never met Knepper (but was lucky enough to meet Mark), the BTS-photos of him laughing with Daniel at least gave the impression that he’s actually a nice guy in real life.

    While I wasn’t sure how Steve would gt his boys out of this pickle, I just knew he would somehow manage to do so. Without my belief in a happy ending, I might not have endured the nerve-wrecking view of Danno and Chin being treated like the worst criminals. I had no idea though that Steve’s mother would be the one to help him save his boys but she sure owes to her son – I agree on that with “Uncle Joe”.
    And I also agree with you, Wendie, about Alex being the perfect leader on and off screen. He always leaves me “satisfied” with his performances – I have good reasons for calling this man my favorite actor. But Scotty, too, has once again proved that he’s a great actor.

    Like you, I’m curious to see how the storyline with Gabriel continues. Unlike other fans, I do not see him as a new Wo Fat though because he has no direct connection to the main character of the show, Steve. No other villain could ever possibly play as important a role in this show and in Steve’s life as someone who called him his “brother” – and got his father killed.

    Overall, everyone did an absolutely amazing job on this episode. I loved it!

  • Wendie, I loved your review as much as I loved last nights show. The only complaint about the show I have is I really wish it would have been a 2 hour show or a 2 episode arc as there was just so much to tell with both Danny and Chin.

  • I really loved the episode. Alex/Steve once again proved why he’s the leader! He comforted Kono and Gracie and was able to get the bad guys! I don’t think I started to breathe again until the end! Kudos to Larry Teng, he’ll definitely be missed. His episodes are always sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat good.

    Like most, I wish it was either 2 hrs. or a to-be-continued episode but I was thrilled that the writers were able to pull it off with such an ending that begs for continuation!! I’m one who believes that Gabriel will be the new WoFat – he has the same suavely, sinister traits! Boy did I cheer for him when he killed that low-life Coughlin. I’m sure Gabriel will make Chin’s life interesting and, by proxy, Steve’s. And oh, yay for Ellie for helping the team in her sporty Audi!! Lou and Frank were so funny! I do wish we were able to see the take over of the factory and the burning of the drugs! I have to admit I’m glad I did all my “indiscretions” before they were able to live in infamy on the internet!! One thing. Would it have killed Danny to thank Steve for saving him, Danny, Danny….

    So Mommie Dearest actually did a selfless act, with no return favors, YET, for Steve. I think he was even amazed that she stepped up to the plate to help. I don’t like her and don’t trust Joe but when he’s not being sneaky, he and Steve make a great team!

    I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us! Thanks for the great review!

  • Wow, Wendie, thanks for this great review! You said in very clear terms, exactly how I felt about the episode, but just didn’t have the words to say it for myself!

    I could not figure out how Chin and Danny got arrested at the same time, but not really connected, then wondered how Steve was still walking around free!

    Then I literally panicked when Danny signed the extradition papers and calmly walked off to prison in Colombia! He knew what he was doing and why, but I sure didn’t!

    I remember PLenkov’s tweet from a few weeks ago when he insinuated it would take “everyone” to get Danny out of the Colombian prison. At the time I wondered who else he could be referring to, since we knew Joe and Frank, and even Ellie were going to be in the episode. Doris came to mind immediately, and her help was just what I expected. I don’t know why Steve was surprised to hear it from Joe. (Trust Joe? Don’t you do it, Steve! That has never worked out well for you! :))

    Great episode for me. I’m glad it was not a two parter – i don’t think I could have stood a week of Danny being trapped in the Colombian jail!

    Thanks again, Wendie!

  • Sorry Wendie! Sat was a busy day …
    I have to say I was disappointed ONLY because they wrapped it up so quick – in one episode. Yeah it is fantasy TV and they wrap the case in an hour.. but I really expected Peter and the writers to “expand” and dive a bit deeper into why Danno was used as scapegoat. We know from previous seasons Danny had a “lovely bagged” discussion with some of the feds. I agree that Danny wanted some retobution for his own actions but it would of been nice to see this episode extended for 2 .
    Gabriel def has the “stuff” to take on a lead villain and I really look forward to seeing him interact with the others of Five0 as well as some of our other favorite villains ( well there aren’t many since Peter has killed off many of them)- hahaha there is still the guy that kidnapped Gracie and turned Rachel against Danno- yeah I think there is more there… couldn’t you just see Gabriel getting him out of jail and seeking vengeance on Danno???… there was that twisted women psychologist that had Steve all in a knot- be awesome to see Gabriel pair with her too- hehehehe ARE YOU READING THESE TPTB???
    I adored the interplay of Chi and Buffett- I mean that was so smooth and so much fun. We need another reason for these two to get together and have a drink hehehe
    I so enjoyed Robert Kneeper- I am SAD he is gone- wonderful actor and wonderful character to go head to head with Chin- however you can’t have Gabriel as new villain and Coughlin survive at the same time. Just a shame we had him for short time.

    I still like Joe- I know I am not in the majority with that but I do. I feel he has done everything to “protect” Steve – maybe not in the most ethical of manners but he did THINK he was doing the right thing AND protecting a women he loves- yes I think Joe is in love with Doris- even if it is unrequited …. In saying that when Steve asked Joe is your source trustworthy I screamed at the tv DORIS!!! IT IS DORIS .

    Some great stuff this episode but again my only disappointment was there wasn’t more ;=)

  • I’m surprised there’s no mention that Jesse Sapolu played one the guards at federal holding facility. I can’t believe that I recognized him so quickly even though I haven’t seen him in a long time.

  • Hey Wendie…sorry it took me so long to comment. Life has been CRAZY the last few days! Anyway….great review. I agree with Dina… I wish they hadn’t wrapped things up so quickly and I really feel there was enough story there to justify a 2 hour or a two-parter to really delve into both stories. Alas…so is the nature of the 42min episode beast!

    Thanks again for bringing us a blog every week that’s concise, well thought out, fair and brilliantly written. You are my inspiration sistah! Well, I’m never concise but I do try! ROFL You’re the BEST!

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