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Five-0 Redux

Falling in love again

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If “everybody loves somebody sometime,” then there is hope for our Five-0 team. It seems as if Valentine’s Day did not turn out quite as well as Dean Martin’s hopeful crooning would suggest in this week’s episode of “Hawaii Five-0.”

While the team investigated an intriguing double-homicide, they also shared their epic Valentine’s Day dating fails. Luckily, their stakeout confessionals were not only highly entertaining, but at times, embarrassingly familiar. If you’ve ever forgotten your lady love’s special day, have had trouble saying what you feel, or have commitment phobia and can’t get yourself to use the word love in ink or in verse — then you probably could relate while watching “Hoa ʻĪnea,” translated to mean “Misery Loves Company.”

In Hawaiian, “hoa ʻīnea” actually means “a companion who shares hardships” — and this episode really took that meaning to heart. While Kono (Grace Park) actually had the hardest day, as her love Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) is still in prison, the rest of the team had their own share of bad Valentine mojo.

Still, it was so fun to hear McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) confess to the real reason he was sporting a fresh black eye. And Danno (Scott Caan) having to admit that his usual romantic acumen did not turn out exactly as he had originally planned, was an interesting twist for the one team member who we all know truly believes in love. Poor Grover (Chi McBride) was sent to a literal dog house because he had yet again forgotten a special day, and Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) had to embarrassingly confess that he had been left alone, naked, and basically locked out of his love nest.


There were quite of few great performances from the Hawaii actors who were in this special Valentine’s episode.

James Koons was actually the shooter in the opening scene — serial cheater Michael Foxton. This is the second Five-0 role for Koons, who also played Mr. Layton, the father of one of the teenage kidnap victims in “Pōwā Ma Ka Moana” (“Pirate”), from season one.

Kamri Lin played the sexy Valentine’s date for hire, Natalie Jacobs. Lin is a Hawaii girl who trained with Scott Rogers Studios and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Peter Togawa, who played Michael Foxton’s doctor, Dr. Alex Baal, is no stranger to “Hawaii Five-0,” and playing doctor. Togawa, who is represented by the ADR Agency, played the Surgeon in the season three finale, “Aloha, Mālama Pono” (“Farewell and Take Care”), and a Doctor in “Hā’awe Make Loa” (“Death Wish”).

Doris Carey, who played the medical center Receptionist, is a real-life nurse and a seasoned theatre and film actress. She currently lives in Hawaii and is represented by the ADR Agency.

Our poor crew — they needed more than just time to lick their wounds — they needed a Valentine’s Day Do-Over. For the most part — they all got a chance to make amends to their perspective or current loves, and it was nice to see all of their make-up scenes. But while the episode focused on love — the case of the week investigation showed us what happens when love goes murderously wrong.

The case revolved around two wealthy wives: Tessa Foxton (Erica Shaffer) and Launa Cruz (not credited); who wanted their husbands, Michael Foxton (James Koons) and Jack Cruz (not credited) to spend Valentine’s Day very much dead. Much like Jerry’s (Jorge Garcia) movie reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s film noir “Strangers on a Train,” the two women thought if they — seemingly complete strangers — killed each other’s husbands, they could basically get away with murder.

The Five-0 crew figured out the truth behind the wives’ Valentine plans for their bad husbands, and wrapped up the case just in time to finish their tales of disaster.

Really, my favorite parts of the episode had to be all the stories the team shared as they waited for Tessa Foxton to make her last move. The overall stakeout scene was great and the flashbacks made the episode. I loved that McGarrett and Danno had a chance to “cargue,” and the cousins, Chin and Kono, even had a few moments of private time between them. Kono teasing Chin about what really happened at the Kahala Hotel was priceless.

Kono’s ribbing, as well as Sgt. Duke Lukela’s (Dennis Chun) hilarious greeting of Chin the day after Chin’s Valentine’s debacle, was so perfect. All three shared knowing looks, and while Lukela was too much of a gentleman to mention the particulars, his simple greeting of Chin: “It was good to see you last night” just helped to solidify poor Chin’s humiliation.

The flashback to Chin’s disastrous date at the Kahala Hotel, was played more for humor than for drama. The scene unfolds as Chin tells the team how his Valentine’s Day fell apart. Abby ran out of their room, saying nothing more than “I can’t, I’m sorry,” and Chin ran after her dressed only in a towel, and of course, locks himself out of their room. As he makes his way to the front desk to get a new key, he runs into Duke and his wife Nalani (Chun’s real life partner, Laura Mellow). Lukela greets Chin and re-introduces him to his wife, and the trio share a very awkward moment in the lobby of the fancy hotel. Nalani’s reaction — a raised eyebrow and an uncomfortable smile — basically said it all.

Grover on the other hand, didn’t necessarily suffer as badly as Chin, but was still humiliated just in a less public way. He forgot about Valentine’s Day and delivered to his wife, Renee (Michelle Hurd), a few Gerber Daisies and a box of chocolates — all while dressed in a blue velvet Huggy Bear suit. It was his still grass-stained golf shoes that tipped Renee off to his lack of attention to yet another special occasion, and caused her to send him packing — without parole.

Danno probably shouldn’t have gotten into too much trouble — as he did everything right for his girlfriend Melissa (Lili Simmons). He romanced her with flowers, perfume, and a fancy homemade dinner — but he forgot one pretty big detail. He basically signed her Valentine’s Day care with a handshake, leaving out any mention of love, which made for a very awkward rest of the evening.

McGarrett was the one who probably suffered the most visible damage — the “panda eye” the team teased him about. His Valentine’s date with new girlfriend Lynn (Sarah Carter) ended with her finding the engagement ring originally meant for Catherine. While the black eye came when they made up — she threw her shoe at him in during an ill-fated strip tease — it caused the team to think that Lynn was more angry about finding the ring than McG let on. Yet, after the case wrapped up, the scene of McGarrett sipping beers with Lynn on the beach behind his house, right after deleting Catherine’s number from his phone — was very telling.

Is McGarrett over his old love? Is Catherine truly gone from his life? From his heart? I guess we will all be wondering this as the season plays out. While there is no official word that Michelle Borth (who plays Catherine Rollins) will return to the show, the series has been known to spring surprises upon us in the past.

Overall, the episode, written by Matt Wheeler and directed by Peter Weller, was a good mix of all the elements of Five-0 that fans know and love. All the humor and character revelation, layered within a case that didn’t frustrate, but still kept us guessing — made for a strong episode. I always love when the characters take time to share and talk with each other. It’s always more interesting to me when they get personal, rather than just work the case. I love when we get moments when the team tease and cajole in order to get an embarrassing story out of each other. Because what are friends for?

I guess I could have lived without the superfluous clips of classic cartoons and television shows — though seeing Capt. Kirk kissing a green-haired alien woman was cool, but not really necessary. I suppose it was a cute gimmick, but hardly needed, as we could have used the minutes to see Max (Masi Oka) go out on a reunion date with Sabrina (Rumer Willis) or even get more out of Kamekona (Taylor Wily) about his secret admirer.

One addition to the episode that seemed more like a continuation of the CBS coverage of Super Bowl 50, was the four Coldplay songs played during the episode. While they didn’t at all stand out for me, they were nice background music for an episode that focused on love and relationships. The songs, “Adventure Of A Lifetime,” “Amazing Day,” “Birds,” and “Everglow” added to the atmosphere of the episode, while not really overpowering the storyline.

Still — I loved how much I laughed and enjoyed watching this episode. It focused on love and friendship and the team — making it a perfect episode for those of us who celebrate Valentine’s Day just to have an excuse to fall in love all over again.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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  • Wendy, I loved this episode. It seemed like such a long time between episodes but it is back at last and it did not disappoint. Mr. Chun’s partner, Laura, was great in her part. True, she did not have a speaking role, but like you said, her expressions said enough about the situation. You could read her thoughts. The banter between Steve and Danny was great, as usual. I really like Steve’s new girlfriend. I am glad to see he is moving on. Will it last? Who knows? Only time will tell.

  • Great review Wendie, as always. I loved this episode so much. It’s going to go down as one of my favorite of this season, for sure. I loved all the Valentine misadventures and the way they, for the most part, worked out in the end.

    But I have to say my favorite part was seeing Dennis and Laura on my screen as Duke and Nalani. Laura did a fantastic job in conveying a scene full of dialog with only her look. I sure hope the writers come up with a reason for her to play Duke’s wife again.

  • Hi, Wendie! This was, indeed, a very enjoyable episode! It was fun to see the whole gang relaxing and doing things on their own. Usually, the team is concentrating on either the same crime, or paired up for different crimes. Obviously, they have personal lives off duty, and it was fun to get to see how each one operates away from work! Loved the way the writers were able to present those off duty lives through a fun Valentine’s Day episode. In their line of work, it’s not always gun fights and take downs everyday. There would normally be a lot of boring paperwork and stake outs to get through, too. So much fun to see the team sitting around during the stakeout for the COTW, basically shooting the breeze with their Valentine’s stories.

    And each story was unique and IMO, true to the characters.

    Looking forward now to the season ramping up the drama as we head into the home stretch for the season. Mama Williams returns this week, and it looks like her visit will have a little more drama than last season’s mid life crisis!

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