For most of us, the want to protect our assets is in the forefront of our minds on a daily basis. In “Hawaii Five-0,” this theme started in the pilot episode– the drive and desire to safeguard what is important and valuable to the team– and has always been one of their main objectives.
In this week’s episode, “Waiwai,” which in Hawaiian means “Assets,” McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and the rest of the team, realize that sometimes what is most valuable, is not always right in front of them. Written by Eric Guggenheim and directed by Maja Vrvilo, the episode mixed the hunt for a Russian spy, who has a stolen flash drive containing classified NSA information, with two continuing storylines.
One storyline started in “Ke Koa Lokomaikaʻi” (“The Good Soldier”) with visiting San Francisco PD Inspector Abby Dunn (Julie Benz) and her undercover work with FBI agent Robert Coughlin (Ingo Rademacher). The team finds out that Rob is the brother of former (read: very dead) HPD Internal Affairs Detective Rex Coughlin. Abby has been tasked by this Coughlin to find proof that Five-0 is a rogue agency that have overstepped its bounds and she must help Coughlin make them an example.
I know, I said it before, but this is going to make me crazy if this storyline actually continues. When Rex died I was so happy because I really hated the whole “I’m going to get Chin because, well, I just don’t like him” storyline, complete with the stamp of his foot to show how much he really meant it. It was just so juvenile. It still seems like such an empty story. I don’t mind revenge plots, or angry-at-Five-0 villains– we all loved Wo Fat and now Gabriel– but the Coughlin story had no basis in reality. I’m just hoping when Abby walked into Chin’s (Daniel Dae Kim) office to talk to him at the close of the episode, that she was going to come clean and end the entire ridiculous “I’m going to get Five-0” plot by the new Coughlin on the block.
I did however, like how they revisited the second continuing storyline, which started at the at the end of season five with the return of McGarrett’s former long-time girlfriend, Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth). This time we’re going to find out about where she took off to after she left McGarrett seemingly holding an engagement ring.
I enjoyed the episode, which was full of great action sequences, with a fun to watch villain-of-the-week. It was basically a long chase sequence, and stunt coordinator Jeff Cadiente pulled out all the stops. A killer opening, a pretty amazing gunfight– complete with a portable rail gun which critically injured poor Danno’s (Scott Caan) Camaro– as well as a foot chase with a very cool take down by Grover (Chi McBride).
Still, besides the fun action, the basic storyline seemed to be pretty familiar. Beautiful Russian spy Anna Novick (Olga Fonda) convinces nerdy tech cyber strategist (someone who protects computers from hackers) Chris Dalton (Michael McMillian) that she’s in love with him, and if he steals top secret classified NSA black ops intel, they can make the US government pay for all the naughty things they do to innocent civilians.
So Dalton is pretty dim when it comes to love and stealing government secrets. And Anna is pretty slick with automatic weapons, gas, and “faking” her emotions. I think that was what changed the story up for me, when Anna pretended to be a doctor and took everyone out with a scalpel in the opening sequence– that was bloody fun, and when she walks into Five-0 headquarters like a boss after she’s gassed the whole building– well, you can’t help by enjoy watching a villain like that. It was like watching Gabriel do cool bad guy stuff– yes, it’s not very nice, but it is cool to watch.
There were some other great moments from the episode that are worth mentioning. I always love seeing some of our familiar favorite recurring cast members each week. Sgt. Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun) returned to break down the bloody operating room, and gave Steve and Lou the details on the dead guy– which started the chase for the flash drive full of NSA intel. Max (Masi Oka) informs the team the information about the fact that the victim had a flash drive inserted just below his skin, which leads them to shady former plastic surgeon David Yang, in Chinatown.
The “Dr. Yang” character was played by veteran actor Jimmy Borges, who was in the classic “Hawaii Five-0,” as well as in “Leikō” (“Radio”) from season two. It was so nice to see Borges on the show, which he has said will be his last. Borges played Yang as a mix of mystic healer and sleazy underground criminal– which made him great fun to watch.
In Hawaiian “waiwai” not only means “assets” it also means: value, worth, and importance. It looks as if the “Hawaii Five-0” cast and crew got one last chance to show Mr. Borges how valuable he is to the Five-0 ʻohana.
And value is definitely something important to the Five-0 crew– I always love when the overall police procedural, or what fans like to call “the case of the week,” diverges with a continuing storyline. In this case, McGarrett is told by Dalton’s boss that the NSA intel on the flashdrive could compromise McG’s former gal pal, Catherine, who is deep undercover in Kiev. Not in Nepal, which is where Cath told McG she would be going to work with a humanitarian aid group.
Yet another blow for McG– not only did Cath lie about why she was leaving, but now she is in danger somewhere far away where McG and the team can’t even help her. Our guy– can he ever catch a break? Thankfully, he does have Danno and the rest of the team to help him search for the flash drive, as once McG finds out that Cath could be in danger, he pretty much moves Russians (convincing them via gunshot wounds) to get the info back.
So McG saves the day, and yet– it is Danno who talks to him about his anger and his emotions. Sure, he’s mad that Cath lied to him, but his super SEAL side understands why she didn’t tell him she was going on a covert op in the Ukraine, which is about as safe as spending spring break in Syria. Danno is right, she didn’t want McG to worry about her. And that she is going to be fine. And while they can’t really know if this is true– it is a nice moment between the two friends. I do love when they banter and bicker, but this was a nice change for our two heroes– watching the sunset, having each other’s backs. Yet again, we love that scene and don’t want it to change.
Because if there is any value to friendship– it is that moment when a friend is hurting, and there is nothing left to do but to assure them that you are there for them no matter what. Sometimes, protecting one another can be the most important asset of any relationship.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
There was a sweet “In Memory of Brock Little” note at the very end of this week’s episode. Little, best known for his insane talent as a big-wave surfer, grew up on the North Shore and passed away Feb. 18 at his home in Haleʻiwa. A professional surfer by age 19, Little was famous not only for his casual boldness in his riding skills, but for belief that surfing was just sheer fun. He moved naturally into stunt work in 1998 and worked on numerous films and television shows– most recently on “Hawaii Five-0” with stunt coordinator Jeff Cadiente and his team. Little revealed he was suffering from Liver Cancer in January, and passed almost a week before “Ka Pōhaku Kihi Paʻa” (“The Solid Cornerstone”) aired.
Sadly, it was his last time on the “Hawaii Five-0” set.
Stunt coordinator, Jeff Cadiente, sent me a message last night about his fellow stuntman, shortly after the airing of “Waiwai” on the east coast.
“Brock was a good friend and had worked for me a stuntman on “Five-0” and other shows over the years. (His passing) happened so fast. I wasn’t prepared for his death. He worked on episode 616 (“Ka Pōhaku Kihi Paʻa” where he was seen in the photo Michael Imperioli held up in court of Graham Clark), then two days later called me to tell me he had cancer. The next week he called to tell he started chemo. Then he called me the two weeks later to tell me he was stopping chemo. He said it wasn’t working and he didn’t want his last few weeks to be miserable. I went to see him the next week and dropped off some fish– he and his family loved Ono– then two days later he died.
I thought I was prepared. I clearly wasn’t. I emailed Peter Lenkov to see if we could dedicate his last day of work to him. He said it was too late for episode 616, as the show was locked. So Peter– a class act– did a memorial for Brock in 617 (“Waiwai”).”
The end of Cadiente’s message was short, but telling of how much Little meant to Cadiente, and I would guess the entire “Five-0” cast and crew who knew him.
“I miss him,” he shared.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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I loved this episode of Hawaii 50. All of the action and adventure are back. In a way, I feel like most of the season has been building up to this episode. I think we are going to see some pretty exciting stuff in the upcoming weeks. I kind of hope we don’t find out about Catherine’s safety by the end of the season. That would be a great cliffhanger at the end of the season and that would mean another season
of Hawaii 50. I loved the scene between Steve and Danny at the end. The usually negative Danny had only positive things to say to his friend. I am hoping we hear of a renewal soon. I am not ready to give up this show.