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Five-0 Redux

Unlikely heroes


“Hawaii Five-0” loves to find the underdogs and turn them into a heroes. In a sense, the entire team could fall into this mindset. All of the members of the Five-0 Team started off in a rough spot, yet eventually they all have turned into some of our most unlikely heroes.

McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) was once a grieving son who turned the hunt for his father’s killer into the Five-0 task force. Danno (Scott Caan), the sarcastic Jersey cop who hated everything about Hawaiʻi, is now an integral part of the Five-0 ʻohana. Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) started off a disgraced HPD officer, and is now a respected Lieutenant and Five-0 team member. Kono (Grace Park), the former pro surfer sidelined by a career ending injury, is no longer a wide-eyed young rookie– especially when she’s behind a sniper rifle or someone messes with her man. And Lou (Chi McBride), who gave up his career to save his kidnapped daughter, is now the fifth part of a strong and effective Five-0 team.

I know I could go on about how the underdogs often get a heroes welcome in “Hawaii Five-0” and this week’s episode, “Ke Koa Lokomaikaʻi” (“The Good Soldier”), is no exception. Written by Carmen Pilar Golden and Sue Palmer and directed by Bryan Spicer, the episode was an interesting case involving an autistic young man, Neil Palea (Joe Egender), who helps Five-0 find out who murdered his best friend, Mark Walker. He also helps to uncover a bigger case where bank executive Howard Fuller (Antonio Leon) laundered $94 Million belonging to drug dealer kingpin Gabriel Waincroft (Christopher Sean).

I loved the scenes with Neil and McGarrett. McG was so patient and sweet with the obviously sharp young man, who seemed to exhibit the quintessential symptoms of autism, which according to “Autism Speaks” include: “difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.” This describes Neil pretty well, yet he was still someone we could appreciate and admire. I did love how the team interacted with him and included him in the case. Smart on their part, and also a generous act to allow Neil to mourn his beloved friend.

I know we all think of McG as a hero for being kind to the underdog, but Neil really was the hero in this episode– he had the clues, he helped them put the case together, and he never asked for anything in return. An unlikely hero for sure.

I only wish they had a closing scene with Neil, rather than how the episode actually ended. It would have been nice to have that scene between McG and Neil. Perhaps this will be another mentor relationship for McGarrett in a future episode.

This episode also included a secondary storyline dealing with the arrival of Danno’s mother, Clara (Melanie Griffith), was cute at first, until it turned a corner. When the FBI wanted to talk with her about her contact with Matty after he took off with Marco Reyes’s money, I just started to roll my eyes. Seems as if the FBI wants to know if Momma Williams knew where Matt was and didn’t say anything so she could spend his left behind drug money.

Really, I thought we were done with this storyline. Can’t we keep the villainy to Gabriel and allow us to have a bad guy we understand and love to hate.

Gabriel’s entrance into the plot was on one hand, not that surprising, but what happened when Five-0 closed in on him, was pretty spectacular. After a few episodes that have been a bit short on action and explosions– besides Grover breaking up walls and cars— it was pretty tense watching the Five-0 team chase down Gabriel. It was cool to see Kono take out one of the bad guys with a sniper shot, just as he was about to shoot Grover. And Grover’s “I love you, girl!” was exactly the response I had as I watched the scene.

I was hoping that someone would have helped Chin out as he and Gabriel had a two-person battle royale. Good thing there were only thin walls, flimsy furniture, and some iron pipes to aid them in their fight to the death– because that was going to be the outcome– one man was was headed toward death.

The fight was very reminiscent of the battle between McGarrett and Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos) in “Inā Paha” (“If Perhaps”), and as Chin and Gabriel have the same kind of intense anger and deep hatred for each other that McG and Wo Fat shared– it made sense.

And what a fight it was– a little cringe worthy (sorry, I’m a girl– those fights are written for our male action fans), but I do understand where the characters are coming from– so it works. The build up all season helped to set up this showdown, so it wasn’t that much of a shock when Chin got the upperhand and tossed Gabriel out a window.

But how on earth did Gabriel walk away from that? I mean, he fell about 30 feet onto a parked car. Do you really just get up and walk (or limp– probably crawl) away from that?

I know you really don’t– but I was glad he did. We can’t have a show without a proper villain. It makes for better drama and it also makes everything so much more fun. I wanted that same thing for Wo Fat– I wanted him to sit up after being shot in the head by McG. Yes, I know, that is not at all realistic, but I love the bad guy that makes sense– not the weird villain that has a vendetta against Five-0 for a few silly and illogical reasons.

Like the newest villain they have cooked up. I hope folks noticed the steely-voiced FBI agent who was watching Danno being grilled by FBI Special Agent Jason Kang (Chase Kim). He only had a few lines, but he was the one who told Abby (Julie Benz) that she needed to keep an eye on Five-0 because of their rogue ways.

Really? This again? I thought when Danno found out that Matty was dead, killed Marco Reyes, went to a Colombian prison because the CIA had a beef with him, and McG and Joe and the Five-0 crew went to save him– I thought for sure this storyline is over. But I guess Gabriel’s most excellent use of a pen didn’t put an end to someone wanting to destroy Five-0.

If you missed it, that agent giving Abby her marching orders to gather intel to bring the team down, is a new character named Robert Coughlin (Ingo Rademacher). If you think the character name sounds familiar, it is because if is the same last name as IA Detective Rex Coughlin (Robert Knepper), who arrested Chin in “Pono Kaulike” (“Justice For All”) and was eventually killed by Gabriel.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m still unclear about why Coughlin hated Chin and Five-0. And I’m sure I will be just as confused about why this Coughlin replacement wants to also destroy the Five-0 team. Maybe I’m more irritated than confused. I thought Coughlin’s hatred was really irrational and just unbelieveable. It seemed to come from just a middle-school playground hatred– I don’t like you so I’m going to use my blacktop kickball team to bring you down.
Okay– so getting off a parked car after falling 30 feet is not realistic– I get that. But if I am rooting for the villain to get up so he can continue his evil ways– that’s better than me rolling my eyes every time he shows up to pull hair, pinch, and poke until someone puts him in a time out. I really want a villain that makes sense, that is three-dimensional, who I can have a delicious love/hate relationship with– like Gabriel.

And I really hope he has another pen handy to take care of this Coughlin interloper. Sometimes a hero can be even more unlikely than we could ever imagine.


There were several very interesting Hawaiʻi actors in this week’s episode. Jordan Segundo was the rather oily timeshare salesman, Stuart, who tried to convince Danny to join the Mau Loa Vacation Club. Segundo, a 2003 American Idol contestant, is currently the weekend weather anchor on the KITV4 news show “Good Morning Hawaii.”

If you are a die-hard fan of “Hawaii Five-0” you may have recognized Elissa Dulce who was Neil’s sweet caregiver, Janet LaRue, at the Noho Hau’oli (meaning: to live happy) Assisted Living Facility. Dulce, was in nine episodes of the original “Hawaii Five-O,” and also played the recurring character Rosine, a waitress at the King Kamehameha Club, in “Magnum P.I.

Actress and international top model, Malia Bautista, was Hana Walker, the wife of murder victim Mark Walker. Bautista was born and raised in Hawaiʻi, and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is most famous for her print and television ads in Hong Kong and all over Asia.

Recent Hawaiʻi transplant and “General Hospital” actor, Ingo Rademacher, was in the short scene at the end of the episode as FBI Agent Robert Coughlin. Rademacher also played bad guy Malcolm Schafer in “Pahele” (“Trapped”) in season one, and is married to Hawaiʻi surfer and stand-up paddleboarder Ehiku Rademacher. Together the couple own and operate Mahiku Activewear in Haleʻiwa on the North Shore of Oʻahu.


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

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  • Well, Wendy, thank you for the great review. Somehow, I knew Gabriel was going to be gone when they went down to check on him. But, there is one thing I know after this. He’ll probably have back problems. Lol I thought I recognized that name Coughlin but I couldn’t place it. I kind of like when the 50 team is battling a common enemy that wants to take them all down. Gabriel started out as more of a Chin enemy and now he’s just a criminal in general trying to control everything in Hawaii it seems. He wants to build his empire, but this guy is out to get 50. I always enjoy when Melanie Griffith reprises her role as Danno’s mom. I love those two together. They added a lot of humor to the episode last night. That is what I love about Hawaii 50. There is always just the right amount of crime drama and humor. It was very heartwarming to see how Steve and the team dealt with Neil. This was a very good episode leading up to some pretty explosive episodes down the road, I’m sure.

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