In the Hawaiian language, pilialoha means friendship, but it means much more than just the run of the mill version of being friends with others. “Pili” means “to cling, to join” and “aloha” means “love, affection, compassion.” If we put these two words together it makes perfect sense that “pilialoha” means “close friendship, beloved companionship, loving association; to have a loving or tender relationship, to be in a bond of love.”
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If you have watched “Hawaii Five-0” grow and change in the last few years, you know that pilialoha is the true definition of the kind of friendship the group shares. This theme of friendship has always been a strong cornerstone for the stories and character arcs within the show. It is woven within their plotlines and is well-established between the relationships of all of the characters.
This week’s episode, “Mōhala i ka wai ka maka o ka pua,” which means “unfolded by the water are the faces of the flowers”, is based on an ʻōlelo no‘eau, or Hawaiian proverb and poetical saying. The saying refers to the idea that flowers thrive where there is water, and therefore thriving people are usually found where living conditions are good. For the most part, this means that a person must be surrounded by love, friends, and family, as well as good health, and a strong well being.
The idea that to “be surrounded by love” is the same as pilialoha is a reasonable belief. Each member of the Five-0 task force is affected by this theme of pilialoha. From McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno’s (Scott Caan) bromantic “McDanno” relationship, which now encompasses Lou (Chi McBride) and Jerry (Jorge Garcia) who round out the team, down to their newest recruits Tani (Meaghan Rath) and Junior (Beulah Koale)– they are all connected because of this friendship.
It also extends out to the rest of the Five-0 ʻohana– Kamekona (Taylor Wily), Duke (Dennis Chun), and Noelani (Kimee Balmilero). Of course, these feelings continue on with their family members– Flippa (Shawn Mokuahi Garnett), Grace (Teilor Grubbs) and Charlie (Zach Sulzbach), as well as to Nahele (Kekoa Kekumano). The list goes on, as the team has other friends, girlfriends, siblings, and parents who are encircled by these bonds of friendship and love.
So it makes sense that the title refers to the Five-0 team– specifically McGarrett as his health is in question in the episode. It also connects to the case of the week, a double-homicide committed by a very damaged young man named Oliver Mathus (Michael Weston), who suffers from dissociative identity disorder or DID.
DID is “a mental disorder characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities or dissociated personality states.” Oliver seems to have several identities– one being his 5-year-old self, Ollie, and another more violent identity named Patrick– a manifestation of his father who was a dishonored HPD officer. Patrick has been dormant for years, as a result of good therapy and medication, as well as his mother keeping close tabs on him. When his mother dies unexpectedly– Oliver goes off his meds, and Patrick comes out in full violent and murderous force.
Written by Eric Guggenheim and Zoe Robyn and directed by Carlos Bernard, the episode was a mix of good teamwork and focus on the pilialoha within the team and the case of the week involving Oliver and his violent personality Patrick. Weston’s strong acting made the part come to life. But the storyline with the stress management consultant brought in to help McGarrett was not very effective and just made the real message of friendship almost fall flat.
The case of the week was interesting, but not anything special. It was more of a way to bring Alicia Brown into the investigation, as she has experience with DID after Dr. Madison Gray pretended to have DID in the season six episode “Hahai i nā pilikua nui” (“Hunting Monsters”). Alicia spends hours profiling Oliver in order to find a clue in which to reach him and stop him from killing again. The violent Patrick personality has an HPD uniform, a police cruiser, and a gun.
She figures out the way to stop Patrick, is to bring out Ollie by acting like his caring mother who loves him as big as the sky. Ollie reaches out to Alicia and she is able to disarm him. And McGarrett doesn’t have to shoot a man who is seemingly a scared 5-year-old who just wants his Mommy.
That was the case essentially– besides a cool car chase, and Duke capturing the violent Patrick in HPD headquarters with a gentle suggestion, a hard shove, and a panic bar. I did like how Alicia stopped Patrick and got his gun away from him, but it was more Alicia’s takedown than Five-0’s and I’d rather see the team at work– rather than a guest star.
Yet, overall– the plotline that was more important than the case, was the McGarrett health intervention by his friends. Orchestrated by Danno to get McGarrett to take his health– the care of his donated liver and the treatment for his radiation poisoning– seriously. It did seem funny to me that they were so worried about a guy who swims a few miles in the ocean each morning only to jump out of the water to run a few more miles– as someone they had to “worry” about.
Junior is right– McGarrett knows how to care for himself physically. And as Junior lives with Sir McG, he does know more about McGarrett’s mental state than the team, who do not spend that many after work hours with him. And former SEALs like McGarrett definitely know how to take care of their bodies because that is what they have to rely on when they are out in the middle of nowhere. It is the only thing they have when they are trapped in a corner with only their own skins– and those of their friends– to help save them.
Perhaps Danno is concerned because when anyone hears “radiation poisoning” they think instant cancer, hair falling out, lesions, and burns. That certainly was the picture I had when McGarrett flippantly admitted to Danno that he had a “little radiation poisoning” from handling uranium in “E mālama pono” (“Handle with Care”). Even the darling little circle of love Danno put together– Lou, Jerry, Tani, Kamekona, and Dog the Bounty Hunter coming over to McG’s to tell him he needed to take his healthy seriously by greatly reducing his stress, was a little much, but still endearing. It certainly showed how much Danno and their friends really cared about McGarrett. Even Kamekona was sweet with his 20% price increase in order to convince him to take reducing his stress seriously.
But did we really need the stress management counselor? That was completely ridiculous. Chloe Gordon (Jolene Purdy) may make a good point that McGarrett should get a plant for his office, but the man needs a treadmill desk like he needs to keep driving Danno’s car.
But if nothing else, she did get McGarrett and Danno to have a serious talk about what really was bothering Danno about Steve’s health. The heart to heart they have at Kamekona’s Truck was worth the entire episode. When both men admit they are scared about Steve’s illness, that Danno is beyond worried about him, and Steve tells Danno he loves his kids but wants his own– I think we all understood what B.F.F. means– best friends forever. Pilialoha.
And McGarrett, the delicate flower thriving where living conditions are good, surrounded by love, friends, family, as well as good health, and a strong well being.