comscore Perfecting Valentine’s Day | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Five-0 Redux

Perfecting Valentine’s Day

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now
    "Pōniu I Ke Aloha" -- While McGarrett and Danno celebrate Valentine's Day with their girlfriends, the rest of Five-0 investigates the murder of a man taking a class on how to land women.

Leave it to “Hawaii Five-0” to remind us that love is in the air. Last year they gave us an excellent tutorial on what not to do for Valentine’s Day. And in this week’s episode, “Pōniu I Ke Aloha,” it’s as if they took all of their Valentine’s disaster tales, rolled them all up, made a wish, and came up with the perfect example of The Best Valentine’s Day. Ever.

Really, I loved watching such a romantic weekend for two– McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno (Scott Caan) having beers together on a balcony overlooking the shores of Waikīkī, making sure to set a useful safe word, taking a refreshing swim and getting facials together– all made me jealous about how secure they are in their partnership.

Oh, forgive me– their girlfriends were with them during this Valentine’s retreat. McGarrett’s lady friend, Lynn Downey (Sarah Carter) and Danno’s girlfriend Melissa Armstrong (Lili Simmons) had planned out a great weekend with their hot guys, including spa treatments, and couples yoga. Not to mention connecting suites at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and a champagne dinner complete with Hawaiian songbird, Anuhea, to serenade them during their sunset meal.

Even with the ridiculous discussion between McGarrett and Danno about a safe word, I still envied their surprise Valentine weekend. McG promised that when Danno wanted some romantic time alone with Melissa– meaning without McGarrett and his judgey face– that their safe word “chicken salad” would immediately get him to leave them alone. All Danno has to do is organically work in the term “chicken salad” into their conversation and McG will give him some breathing room. What could be more perfect? Call me crazy, but I’ll never think of chicken salad the same way again.

In Hawaiian, “pōniu” means “dizzy or giddy; to rotate, whirl, spin, revolve, or gyrate” which is really a poetic way to describe someone who is “crazy in love”– the complete translation of the episode title. While I didn’t really see a whole lot of dizziness or giddy actions that would make me think of being crazy in love. Danno and Melissa did have a couple of moments and I did hear Danno say “I love you” to Melissa in the middle of the volleyball game. They also had a nice moment later in the afternoon, when Danno apologized for spinning a bit out of control when he thinks his sunglasses were stolen by a bratty tween on the beach.

Still, I think the title described the case of the week more than what was going on with our couples during their Valentine’s getaway. While McG and Danno played beach volleyball like they were in “Top Gun”– complete with Kenny Loggins singing “Playing with the Boys” in the background– Chin (Daniel Dae Kim), Kono (Grace Park) and Lou (Chi McBride) worked to solve the murder of Jeremy Holden (Samm Levine). Jeremy seems to have gotten caught up with a beautiful woman in red after attending a “how to meet women completely out of your league” workshop headed by scam artist slash motivational speaker Blake Stone (Rob Huebel).

Stone’s “Method” workshops propose to teach men how to ask women out regardless of their schlub level. Stone seems to be successful, as proven by Jeremy getting the very beautiful Vanessa Lancey (Rebekah Graf) to drink and dance with him at a hot Waikīkī nightclub– and then leave with him at the end of the night. Unfortunately, this led to his ending up dead in a Dumpster, and the lady in red very much the prime suspect.

But as the Five-0 threesome work the case, Lou figures out that Vanessa is a mark– planted by Stone– to give his “Method” legitimacy. Stone has given the men who pay for his workshop a TCB– Total Confidence Re-Build– in order for them to meet women. And while the men think these women are sold on their charms, Stone actually pays professionals to act as if they like his workshop participants in order for his business to continue to make money.  

Kono promptly sees through Stone and his techniques and– as women around the world cheered– calls Stone out on all of his cheesy maneuvers. Like when he tries to use negging on her by saying he likes “uninhibited, free spirited types“ rather than the tough, no-nonsense, super sure of herself Kono. She tells him she knows that he is hoping that her self-confidence is so fragile, that she would actually care what he thinks about her. Which, of course, she does not. At all.

I started to feel sorry for Stone, as he gets more and more pathetic as he continues to use his “moves” on Kono. But I appreciated how he kept thinking that he could get her, that she would break at some point. Even when a crazed ex-client Neil Ware (Aaron Densley) comes to kill Stone, and Kono saves him– Stone still thinks he has a chance. When she pronounces that she is married, and even if she wasn’t married, she would still say no. Not only no, but no way, no how, not a chance.

Yet, Stone continues to try. How darling is that? If only we all had that kind of confidence in life. Even though Stone is really full of himself, I’m glad that Kono took out Ware and that nothing serious happened to the dating shyster. Ware wanted to kill Stone because he had been set up with Vanessa and had thought that they were in love. If anyone was crazy in love in this episode– it was the off-kilter Ware, in love with a beautiful illusion.

But for Danno, who seemed to want to make amends to Melissa for last year’s Valentine’s Day, when he failed to tell Melissa that he loved her– it all came to a head on the beach at dinner. With Anuhea singing “Simple Love Song,” with the lyrics “I know he loves me,” it was obvious that Danno was trying to hard to tell Melissa how much he loves her.  

Yet Danno never got a chance to say those words to Melissa– but he sure did use his safe word. As he pushed out “chicken salad” over and over as McGarrett tries to save Danno and tell Melissa how Danno feels about her– I couldn’t help but think– maybe love is easier shown than said. And after all of the fanciness of a romantic couples weekend, perhaps the concept of chicken salad is better– simple words paired with truthful actions often speak much louder than all the champagne and sunsets and even without a holiday to back it all up.


Last week’s “Hawaii Five-0” episode “Ka Pāʻani Nui” (“Big Game”) focused on McGarrett and Chin’s journey to Kalaupapa in search of a killer. The major plot line focused on the murder of Leia Rozen (Angela Galvan) a woman who had also been on the hunt for the Nazi guard who terrorized her grandfather in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. The guard, Tomas Sauer, had hidden himself after the war among the many missionaries who came to Kalaupapa to aid the patients of Hansen’s Disease.

The part of Tomas Sauer was played by Hawaiʻi actor Don Dailey. While I did not credit him in my post “Hunting the Big Game” last week, as he was not listed in the CBS press release, he was still kind enough to reach out to me via my Facebook page. He shared some behind the scenes pictures of himself on set with Hawaiʻi actress Angela Galvan.

Dailey is represented by ADR Agency and has trained in Hawaiʻi with Scott Rogers. He was last seen in “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” and in the television show “Adam Devine’s House Party.” He was also in “Battleship” as one of the “Old Salts” who take over the USS Missouri in order to run the ship and fire the 16 inch guns. I guess “Hawaii Five-0” wasn’t the first time Dailey has played an interesting character from the past.


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

Comments (0)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up