After two weeks of NCAA Men’s Basketball, “Hawaii Five-0” fans can let out a collective sigh of relief. With a new episode, starring a beloved guest star, as well as an intriguing case– Five-0 gave fans the perfect means to forget the last two Fridays without McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and crew. Often, Five-0 brings back friends of the team, especially when they can help with a new case and add their expertise to the ‘ohana. This friend, former HPD detective turned private detective, Harry Brown, played by the incomparable William Forsythe, brings with him an insight that the Five-0 team welcomes with open arms.
After his season five appearance in “Wāwahi moeʻuhane” (“Broken Dreams”), Forsythe quickly became a viewer favorite— especially after his smokey voice helped to narrate a typical Five-0 episode into the realm of film noir. Still, it’s more than just Forsythe’s character that fans love, it’s also the fact that Harry Brown was a contemporary of Steve’s father, John McGarrett. They played poker together and Brown seems to have a lot of war stories– as well as old school cop instincts– to share with the younger McGarrett
This week’s episode, written by Matt Wheeler and directed by Jerry Levine, takes its title “Huikau nā makau a nā lawaiʻa,” translated to mean “the fishhooks of the fishers become entangled,” from an ʻōlelo noʻeau or traditional Hawaiian proverb. The original poetical saying is “Huikau na makau a ka lawaiʻa i Wailua, lou mai o Kawelowai ia Waiehu,” which means: “The fishhooks of the fishers become entangled at Wailua and caught Kawelowai at Waiehu.” Basically, this ʻōlelo noʻeau speaks of an entangling love affair and is more than appropriate for the theme of the case Harry brings to the team. The title also works for the secondary plot which deals with Danny (Scott Caan) and his ex-wife Rachel (Claire Van Der Boom) and their very complicated relationship.
While the Danno-Rachel storyline is the subplot of the episode, it did a nice job threading itself throughout the story. Before the episode starts we are reminded of how the Danno-Rachel relationship began in the series. We saw clips from season one and two about how they started off divorced, with Rachel remarried to a wealthy businessman, Stan Edwards (Mark Deklin), living on the same island, sharing parenting duties of their daughter Grace (Teilor Grubbs). By the end of season one, they had reunited and Rachel was pregnant– and set to leave Stan and be with Danno. But at the start of season two, she told Danno that she thought the child was really Stan’s and they were going to stay together and work it all out. Fast-forward to a scene from season five when Rachel gives Danno the shocking news that Charlie (Zach Sulzbach) is really his biological child.
The story picks up in the episode when Danno sees Rachel waiting at Leeward Academy (the fictional school that both Williams children attend). Rachel seems a bit distracted as it is actually Danno’s day to pick up Charlie. When Danno asks her what’s wrong, Rachel admits to him that she and Stan are getting divorced, that they have tried everything, but it’s still not working. Danno doesn’t want them to break up– for him, it’s about how the divorce will affect his children. He doesn’t want them hurt, nor does he want Rachel hurt.
Meanwhile, McG and Lou (Chi McBride) are at Five-0 headquarters, discussing– or lamenting– the fact that Lou can’t have a boat now that his daughter is headed to Northwestern, a private college in Illinois. While McG tries to cheer him up by reminding him that Samantha’s degree will get her the kind of job where she can then buy Daddy a boat, they are called to a security situation in the lobby by Sheriff Marcus Kalawaia (Hawaiʻi actor Ma’a Tanuvasa). Seems he is holding a gentleman who walked through the metal detector with a concealed weapon– who turns out to be none other than Harry Brown.
So Harry brings the team a case of cheating spouses, and subsequently also gives Danno a lot of unwanted advice– but the mix of McG, Harry, and Dannoʻs dilemma, helps to give us a few moments of levity which helped to lighten the mood. Not that I think divorce or cheating or even kidnapping is funny, but if you add in McGarrett’s gossipy replay of Danno’s relationship, with Danno’s reluctance with sharing so much of his personal life with relative-stranger Harry– and the ridiculous jerk of a husband who won’t pay his wife’s ransom so he doesn’t have to part with his money during a divorce– well, I’m sure we all got in a few laughs during this episode.
Harry tells the team about running a recon job on for a suspicious husband, Thomas Stratham (Robert Gant). Tom suspects his wife, Celine Stratham (Lena Georgas), of infidelity and wants proof of her indiscretion. Harry believes the man is jealous and thinks this post-retirement job is a quick way to make a buck. But when Celine is kidnapped and Harry is knocked out by one of the kidnappers, he comes to Five-0 for help. Because as he says “once Five-0, always Five-0, right Steve?”
So the McGarrett, Danno, and Harry head over to the Stratham home to meet Tom and have Kono (Grace Park) set up home phone surveillance to help catch the kidnappers. Tom is already completely too slick for me and not worried enough about his wife who was forcibly kidnapped. But really, I was spending more time paying attention to Harry and his old school detecting to worry about Tom the terrible husband. Harry’s old school film pics of his mark, which gets him an introduction to Jerry (Jorge Garcia) and his dark room of conspiracy theories, was priceless. I loved all of Harry’s nicknames for the team– “Kid” for McG; “Cuddles” and “Jerrymundo” for Jerry; “Our Man with Two First Names” for Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim); “Muscles” and “Hairdo” for Danno; and my favorite “Mr. All In” for McGarrett’s dad.
I suppose I could go on about what Harry added to the team this week, and how his way of investigating is similar to how Five-0 works. While Harry kept saying he was old school– it was the mix of all their ways of detecting that helped to solve the case. Add in McGarrett’s suggestion that he look at even the most minuscule piece of all of the clues to figure out the truth. It was this that leads Harry to realize that things are not adding up.
Because if anything wasn’t adding up– it was this case, which turned into a double kidnapping– with Tom as the mark. Not only is his wife kidnapped, but then his girlfriend, Natasha Baron (Melanie Rains), is taken from her home. And the kidnappers send Tom a text– “Now will you pay?”
How unlucky can this guy be? Turns out the only thing he’s really bad at– is picking a wife. Harry figures out that Celine’s kidnapping was staged just for him. She knew Harry was watching– and along with her felon boyfriend, Collin Hanson (Matt McTighe), and his friend Gary Fallon (Kolton Jensen), they staged her kidnapping. She figures that if Tom doesn’t pay her ransom, then she can be “rescued” and blame him for being a degenerate husband, divorce him, and make millions. Or better yet, she could get him to pay a ransom for his girlfriend, she would keep that money, and still be able to divorce him and make even more money. It’s the perfect plan– until Harry and Five-0 figure it all out.
The case was a great mix of action and technology– as we expect from “Hawaii Five-0”– and old-fashioned detective work. We got a SWAT scene when they moved to rescue the women, complete with the bomb squad arriving deal with a bomb vest; McG flying a helicopter to keep track of the running kidnappers, while Kono took sniper shots at them from the back seat; Danno sliding down a laundry shoot– only to be knocked out by an escaping Hanson. Even with all the action, it’s really old school detective work that helps Harry to finally see all the angles.
Harry figures out that it’s really Celine behind this kidnapping plot because she was in love with Hanson, and if husband Tom found out, that would trigger the fidelity clause in her prenup and she would end up with nothing. Because who would suspect the woman who was the victim?
But Harry and Five-0 suspected it and figured it all out together. And that is why listening to your gut always counts. Just like Danno knowing what really counts in life, his children, their connection to their mother and himself– as well as their feeling safe and whole. When change happens, sometimes children don’t feel as safe. So I loved how the episode ends, with Danno showing up to help Rachel tell their children that she and Stan were getting a divorce.
He was there to support his children, but also to support the mother of his children. Stan told Danno that he suspected that Rachel was still in love with him, and I’m sure there is some truth to that, as well as the fact that I think Danno has never stopped loving Rachel. Yes, she lied about Charlie, but she is still Grace and Charlie’s mother, and that is what matters to Danno. We’ll have to see how all the entangled fishhooks of love and trust and truth get worked out– but for now, the hooks are cast, and it might take quite a bit of patience to pull the catch onto the shore.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
This week was a busy one for the “Hawaii Five-0” crew, as the shooting schedule begins to wind down for the season. The show goes on hiatus in the next couple of weeks. Usually, the set is closed and pictures are discouraged, but lots of behind the scenes pictures and videos have been posted to social media. It’s hard to have a closed set when you’re filming out in the open– this last week Five-0 has been spotted at Wailana Coffee House, Ala Moana Beach Park, and they shut down the H-3 for two days last Sunday and Monday. Hawaiʻi celebrated Kuhio Day, which is a state holiday, on March 26– which meant lighter traffic for those two days.
Several actors have posted teasers this last week as well, telling fans either of their return to Hawaiʻi to film or behind the scenes pics from the set. Julie Benz, who plays Abby Dunn, Willie Garson who plays Gerard Hirsch, and Londyn Silzer, who plays Chin’s niece Sara, all posted pics via social media letting fans know of their delight of returning to shoot the finale. And stunt and crew members have posted many cool explosive pics and videos from filming on the H-3 to keep the fandom excited for the May 12 season finale.