Whenever I’m faced with making a tough decision and decide to follow my naʻau — my gut feeling — it’s often difficult for me to explain to others.
Intuition is defined as the natural ability or power which makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence. It’s also a good description of the Hawaiian concept of naʻau. We follow our naʻau because that is where we believe the truth resides. Much like how detectives use their instinct when they are investigating a case; it’s hard to explain and hard to prove, but usually right on the mark.
“‘Ike Hānau,” or “Instinct” in Hawaiian, delves into the investigative means many cops live and die by. This week Capt. Grover (Chi McBride) comes face-to-face with having to decide whether to trust his investigative instincts or his 25-year friendship with a fellow Chicago cop.
Written by Moira Kirland and Eric Guggenheim from a story by Peter Lenkov and Peter M. Tassler, the episode follows Grover and his wife as friends Clay (Mykelti Williamson) and Diane Maxwell (Kim Wayans) arrive in Hawaii to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. When Diane falls off a cliff in Kualoa while hiking, it’s Grover who doubts her husband’s story almost from the start and asks McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) to help him figure out what was bothering his naʻau.
Likewise, Danno (Scott Caan) and Dr. Mindy Shaw (Amanda Setton) only have their instincts to rely on while they start an investigation into a shooting while stuck in an elevator. With only the victim’s body and Dr. Shaw’s purse to help them, they found a few clues that helped them catch the dead man’s killer.
I love when the Five-0 team uses their gut feelings, their intuition and their investigative instincts based on years of experience to help solve their cases. Yes, they need proof, but more often than not it’s those gut feelings which lead them to the evidence they seek.
Of course, that really wasn’t the point with the elevator breaking down — the entire Danno being stuck in a small box and how he handled his claustrophobia was the real story. I’m glad Dr. Shaw was intuitive enough to realize what was going on with Danno and helped him relax. I did enjoy her medical explanation of what happened, which he called a “glitch” as his body lies to him and causes his panic.
Still, with Danno asking Dr. Shaw to speak English when she used medical terms I couldn’t write down fast enough, I would probably have enjoyed it more if Kono (Grace Park) or Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) were stuck with him. I know we all would have loved it if McGarrett had been with him, but we’ve seen that scene several times and it would have just been trite.
I like the Dr. Shaw character, but it would have been a stronger scene with one of the regulars. If they are positioning her character as a potential love interest, that would be interesting, but it doesn’t seem that way. They seem to be in the friends zone, which is fine, but I still think it’s better when the core team gets to spend time together and not just working a case.
I know many fans were focused on how law enforcement cannot arrest someone without evidence throughout this week’s episode. So it was good that McGarrett, Chin and Kono all played devil’s advocate and questioned Grover’s instincts regarding Diane’s death. I liked how each character said exactly what I was thinking; they voiced all the what-ifs regarding Clay’s actions and reactions to Diane’s fall.
Still, Grover’s job is to find the evidence — even if it means trusting his gut and following through until the real story comes out.
Obviously, this is what Grover planned on doing once he was done mourning not only Diane’s death, but also the end of his long friendship with Clay. I was heartbroken for him when he said to Clay, “You used me.”
Grover knew the trip was a cover for Clay’s plan to kill Diane and have his best friend overlook the inconsistencies, which would allow Clay to be free to move on with a younger girlfriend.
While that may not have been enough to prove Clay killed Diane, it was enough for Grover to investigate deeper. His instincts would lead him to the proof. That was the point.
Overall, I liked this episode. There was more acting than action, more emotion than gunfights and fistfights, but it was still a very strong showing for director Maja Vrvilo.
I know, I know: “But there wasn’t enough McGarrett!”
Okay, I’ll give you that, but he really did provide a few important elements within the episode. In the last scene with Grover when he said, “You could have turned away. You could have squashed that little voice in your head and let your friend walk, but you didn’t,” that had to be said. Sometimes a cop has little more to help them through a situation but their instincts.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
On Tuesday, “Five-0” regulars Dennis Chun and Daniel Dae Kim joined executive producers Peter Lenkov and Jeff Downer and unit production manager Craig Cannold at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii for a ceremony that honored the dedication of the Honouliuli National Monument, which took place in Kunia the same day.
Chun sent me a text message Friday that included a picture of himself and Mellow with her artwork shortly before he shot his last scene for season five. I thought his words completely captured a message of aloha and acceptance: “Laura’s work entitled ‘Honouliuli’ inspired by the stories of the internees was on display during the ceremony. We have gifted the work to the JCCH in honor of the strength and courage of the internees.
“While (barbed) wire may intern people it can never imprison their hearts, their courage, or their dreams.”
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.