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Five-0 Redux

Fans define the best ‘Five-0 ʻohana’ moments


    A scene from of “Hawaii Five-0” season seven “E mālama pono” (“Handle with Care”) with McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Sgt. Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun), and Danny Williams (Scott Caan).

For seven seasons, “Hawaii Five-0” has fully embraced the theme of ʻohana and infused it into their overall storylines and character arcs of the popular police procedural. Fans often mention how much they love the fact that the Five-0 core four of McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Danno (Scott Caan), Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Kono (Grace Park) seem to have really embraced the newest members of the team, Lou Grover (Chi McBride) and Jerry Ortega (Jorge Garcia). Fans also love how the team treats their extended ʻohana– Max (Masi Oka), Kamekona (Taylor Wily), Sgt. Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun), and Flippa (Shawn Mokuahi Garnett).

The idea of the ‘Five-0 ʻohana’ is not a new concept– it was birthed in the Pilot episode and seems to have really sunk in as the group grew out of the original core four. Yet, much like a typical family, the group seems to have found a way to support and love each other despite setbacks and conflict– and bad guys who want to kill them.

So when I asked Five-0 fans around the world what were some of their favorite moments within the ʻohana, they mentioned scenes and episodes that many recalled and wrote about as being their best. Their answers came via the Five-0 Redux Facebook page and there were many moments that may help the casual viewer understand how important the role of the ʻohana is within the show.

Australian fan Fiona Sutton was not alone in mentioning the Pilot episode. When she wrote “my favorite ʻohana moment, was when Five-0 came together, and you learned the backstory of each character. As the [core] four came together in the office at the end of the episode, you felt as though you were in the room with them, not watching it on a screen. You felt as though you were one of the ʻohana,” wrote Sutton.

This scene is one of the moments when the idea of family began to be seen not as one of blood or obligation, but as one of deep connection and aloha. Yes, there is a sense of duty and loyalty– but this ʻohana is also based on love and trust between its members.

Josette Key wrote about a moment between Sgt. Duke, McGarrett, and Danno in season seven’s “E mālama pono” (“Handle with Care”).  “My favorite moment with Duke is when Steve and Danny are giving a lecture about trusting your partner. They start arguing back and forth and it gets so intense poor Duke has to end the lecture,” wrote Key.

The moment is clever and funny, as Duke has to firmly step between the partners to remind them to basically behave. We all understand McG and Danno’s complex friendship– but we also see Duke as the father figure both men respect and respond to. Duke is both friend and ally. And the team often relies on him to add a level of loyalty between the uniformed members of HPD and the Five-0 task force that they need in order to complete their investigations.

Eileen Williams of Illinois wrote about a scene between Duke and Jerry from this week’s repeat, “Ua Maloʻo Ka Wai” (“The Water is Dried Up”). “My favorite [ʻohana] moment is when the team gets into trouble while on the island of Lanai. Jerry disobeys a command by confiding in Duke. Jerry tells him there may still be a mole in HPD, but they need to get help over to that island. Duke says ‘not the guys I go to. Let’s go get our friends.’ [And the] best part– Jerry gets his badge!” wrote Williams.

This reminded me of the time when Duke watched McG, Danno, and Kono fly into Halawa to save Chin from prison riot death in “ʻŌlelo Hoʻopaʻi Make” (“Death Sentence”)— he knew they were breaking the rules to save their friend, and his smile was one of relief and pride. That’s what fans love about Duke. And what they love about Jerry is that he is willing to break rules in order to rescue his friends– much like McG and the rest of the team.

Emily Shultz of Sandy Ridge, North Carolina, also wrote about a season seven episode, “Ua hoʻi ka ʻōpua i Awalua” (“The Clouds Always Return to Awalua”). She wrote about a moment “where Jerry is reading Max’s journals, and Max shares his heart about his Five-0 ʻohana. It really showed how much they meant to him. I loved his relationship with Jerry, and how Jerry told him that sharing his emotions is okay and it means a lot to people. I cried so much at the end where Max said goodbye. [I loved] how he told each member of Five-0 how much they meant to him in their own special ways. That was so sweet!” wrote Shultz.

Sally Amelotti of Missouri wrote about another Max moment, but this one with Kamekona and Flippa, when they “go on the maiden voyage of Kamekona’s new [catamaran] business. How the three bonded after all of the mistakes that were made and the boat burning up. They stuck together and helped each other through the adversity of being lost at sea. Arguing at times, but in the end, their love and trust of each other [showed] true ʻohana spirit.,” wrote Amelotti.

Other fans mentioned how much they loved seeing Flippa singing and playing the ukulele, as well as hearing him sing his own original music on the show. One of the reasons they love seeing Garnett sing as Flippa on the show is because many fans who visit Hawaiʻi have seen Garnett entertain at local venues, as well as at the season four Sunset on the Beach red carpet event.

As many fans love Flippa, they also love his boss in the shrimp business, his cousin Kamekona. Caroline White of New Zealand wrote, “One of my favorite [episodes] is Kamekona’s back story from season six, ‘Kuleana’ (‘One’s Personal Sense of Responsibility’). Chin knew Kamekona cared for his brother and mother in the camp, cooking, and earning money. [I loved when] Chin tried to help Kamekona get out of the criminal life by getting him to inform on the gang and go undercover to keep his brother safe, and then at the end of the episode [when he gave] Kamekona the book in jail on how to get rich. Chin said he’d be his first customer with such a trusting beautiful smile. I loved that Kamekona’s focus was always his ʻohana no matter what the personal cost. He does what he can to help those less fortunate, like giving Nahele a job, because he has been there and someone (Chin) give him a hand up when it mattered most. It changed his life,” wrote White.   

Sometimes called the fifth core member of Five-0 team, is Lou Grover, and fans had a lot to say about Lou and what he was added to the task force. Susan Morrell of Park City, Utah wrote about her favorite “Lou moment” and his connection to McGarrett. “I really like the bond they’ve formed considering how ‘in your face’ they were when they first met. [In season four when they] tracked down Ian Wright– [that] was the turning point in creating [their] great relationship,” wrote Morrell.

Tami McKell of Billings, Montana wrote about “ʻO Ka Pili ʻOhana Ka ʻOi” (“Family Comes First”). “That whole episode was [about] ʻohana and how they all accepted to help Lou when his daughter was kidnapped. I love it when the team comes together to help one another. [They] especially [come together] on this one– [even though] Lou was not even a part of Five-0 until the end when they asked him to join the team,” wrote McKell.

Emily Shultz also loves Lou Grover and wrote about his prior trouble with his former Chicago partner. “The whole thing with Clay Maxwell and how Lou had to send his friend to jail was heartbreaking, especially when he has to go to Chicago and testify against Clay in court. There’s so much emotion there, especially when Lou’s “old friend,” tells him that he has no old friends left in Chicago. I always cry with Lou. This episode really hit me. It sends a big message– how sometimes you have to do the right thing, even when it hurts, even when no one else will, even if it means going against your own friend, just because it’s the right thing to do and you’ve got to do it,” wrote Shultz.

Perhaps that really what it all means to define the best Five-0 ʻohana moments– that they will do the right thing for each other when no one else will because it’s the right thing to do. I think we could say that for all the members of the team. If nothing else, we know that the team definitely functions as a family and a support system for each other– exactly what we would expect as members of a tight and loving ʻohana.


Halloween is right around the corner and “Hawaii Five-0” actor, Jorge Garcia, is gearing up for a very special event. Garcia is designing a professional haunted house in Kailua with Skeleton Key Hawaii. Starting October 6, “Mummy: Curse of the Crypt” will offer “scares and chills for all ages.” I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to make the connection between Garcia’s love for Halloween when his character Jerry Ortega is also a big fan of the tricks and treats of the spooky night

If you like to scare people and are interested in auditioning for the haunted attraction, scare actors are wanted for the event. Auditions are Saturday, Sept. 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Skeleton Key Hawaii, 171-A Hamakua Dr, in Kailua. They are looking for actors, improvisers, and fans of Halloween.

Hawaiʻi special effects expert Kamakani De Dely, who owns and operates the special FX make-up and supply company, Oncefound FX, has joined the team to create some scary creatures for the haunted house. Fans may remember De Dely from “Pono Kaulike” (“Justice for All”). He played the desk guard who kept McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) from seeing Danny (Scott Caan) in the Federal Detention Center.

Skeleton Key Hawaii presents “Mummy: Curse of the Crypt” by Jorge Garcia, starts October 6 and 7 and repeats October 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, and 26-31  from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Keiki friendly nights are October 21, 28, 29 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Visit their website for more details on auditions and ticket information.

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

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