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Five-0 Redux

Facing the past gives ‘Five-0’ hope for the future

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    When Danny (Scott Caan) is shot while quarantined in the hospital with McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Tani (Meaghan Rath) and Junior (Beulah Koale), he’s left unconscious and clinging to life, imagining a future for everyone in Five-0.

“Hawaii Five-0” has never shied away from delving into its past. In the seven years that the series has been on the air, their past has often haunted them– usually because of the choices the team has made. Yet they never let the past take away from their present, for it is through these lessons and experiences that their team has become what it is today. After the major changes that have affected the show this last year, it’s great to see an episode that gives us a glimpse into what they foresee for their future– even if it’s in response to what could have been a major tragedy.

This week’s Five-0 offering was billed as their fall finale and were actually two hour-long episodes– the first aired in their regular timeslot and the second in the “Blue Bloods” time slot. The first episode, “I ka wā mamua, I ka wā mahope” is Hawaiian for “The Future is in the Past,” and the second episode was their annual Christmas episode. Both episodes were filled with some of the best moments we’ve seen this season– and definitely gave us hope for the future of the series.

In Hawaiian “ka wā mahope” (mahope is one word, not two) is a phrase that means “future” and “wā mamua” (mamua is also one word, not two) means “formerly or old times.” Hawaiians believe that we cannot possibly understand our present without facing our past, and we know that we must also be cautious about how we proceed into our future. This episode, written by Zoe Robyn and directed by Peter Weller, really brought that idea home– as Danny (Scott Caan) faces death, after someone from his past breaks into the quarantine and shoots him point blank. As Danny slips in and out of consciousness, he imagines a possible future for himself, his children, McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and for the rest of Five-0.  

The episode begins with McGarrett, Danny, Tani (Meaghan Rath), and Junior (Beulah Koale)– who were exposed to a deadly toxin in last week’s “Make me kai,” (“Death at Sea”) and were forced into quarantine– killing time as they wait out their medical imprisonment. A man dressed in a hazmat suit enters the quarantine area with a gun and forces the team to zip tie their hands, and smashes their cell phones. After removing the hood and breathing apparatus of the hazmat suit, he asks if Danny remembers him. When Danny doesn’t, the unknown intruder shoots him in the chest– and then kills himself.

While the McGarrett and Junior struggle to stabilize Danny, Tani works to get help. They cannot call anyone and they cannot open the door, as the intruder set an explosive device on the handle of the exit. Tani tries everything– even throwing a chair against the thick unbreakable glass of the quarantine room to get help. It was perfect when she throws the chair– as it failed to even dent the glass– and she tells them– “I had to try.”

It’s exactly the type of thing McGarrett would have done. Remember, he once opened the gate in a pawn shop with a grenade. Still, even though it seems like an impossible task, Tani comes up with an ingenious way to get help by flooding the bathroom– knowing that when water starts leaking, someone will come and check on them.

I think it’s great that McGarrett trusts her to do the physical stuff. The roles could have easily been reversed– with Tani doing the medical tending of Danny and Junior trying to break the window and beating the drywall apart to get to the water pipes. I love that Tani gets to be as bad-ass as the boys– and tends to come through no matter what situation they put her.

McGarrett and Junior use their varied medic experiences from being in combat to help Danny, and finally when a nurse arrives and everything starts to roll– Lou (Chi McBride) and Duke (Dennis Chun) arrive and together they clear out the hospital and figure out a plan in order to help the team. Duke tells Lou that they have no idea of the identity of the shooter is or how he is connected to Danny. The bomb squad arrives to dismantle the bomb on the door in order to get Danny to surgery. But even with the team in dire straits, Danny’s fantasies about his future were excellent to see revealed.

McDanno’s restaurant

The episode opens with Danny and Steve’s restaurant completed and doing excellent business. Steve is working the crowd, asking the patrons how they are enjoying their meals and generally being a great host. Danny is in the kitchen helping the Chef, who he calls Freddy– as in Hawaiʻi Chef Fred DeAngelo– create what looks like Grandma Williams’ famous recipes on a plate. When he has Steve taste one of Chef Freddy’s masterpieces– McG charmingly says “Serve ‘em, Danno”– a little take on the ever popular, “Book ‘em, Danno.”

It’s such a great moment for McG and Danno as it looks as if Danny’s dream of having a restaurant, and making it work with McGarrett as his partner– is a success. The pictures on the wall– of Danny’s children, Aunt Deb, Jerry and Lou, even Chin and Sara, and Adam and Kono– really made the point that everyone on the team– past and present– matter. Yet the dream goes south when the two look at an incoming television report about an officer killed at King’s Hospital and Danny asks Steve if they know the guy who died. Steve says, “What do you mean, Danny? It’s you, buddy.”

And then we cut to the team trying to save Danny’s life. It’s an effective device to use in order to bring us right back to the present.

Grace’s wedding day

As Danny continues to fight and the team struggles to keep him breathing, he dreams of Grace’s (Erika Brown) wedding day. Of course, she’s going to marry Lou’s now grown up son, Will, and now the two friends will be family. But she’s having cold feet and Danno kindly talks her off the ledge and assures her that she loves Will enough and that is what is going to get them through the tough times. I loved how she calls him Danno and he affectionately calls her Monkey– just like he did from the first episode when Grace was a little bitty girl. Only now– she’s all grown up and thankfully, she’s going to marry someone Daddy Danno likes and admires.

Charlie’s graduation from the police academy

Really these moments seeing Danny’s kids all grown-up were the best parts of this week’s episode. When he imagines seeing his son sitting with his academy class and Duke at the podium giving the commencement speech– I don’t know who was prouder– me or Danny. Duke’s speech about putting on the badge, how it is a pledge to help and protect, and how the path they have chosen is not easy. But their family, even those who wear the badge, will look out for them. It was a perfect theme, considering how much Steve and Danno have been there for each other– and been there for Charlie. When Duke wishes the new officers, “Hoʻomaikaʻi ʻana,” congratulations in Hawaiian, it was really very moving.

Sitting next to Danny and Steve are Uncles Kamekona (Taylor Wily) and Flippa (Shawn Mokuahi Garnett)– who now own two luxury resorts and yet still rock the Aloha Casual look. Tani, who is now Captain Rey, is sitting cozily next to Junior, trading banter like an actual married couple– which it seems they are. Captain Rey is also in charge of Five-0, as she invites Charlie to join her team. Interesting, right? Junior seems to be not only her husband but also a part of the team as she gives him the nod and he joins in her steps to say goodbye to head out after a quick phone call– on an Iphone20? Their phones and even the commencement lei are very futuristic.

So it seems as if the moment before Danny was shot, when they were all bored and playing Go Fish and Steve was giving himself a buzz cut, manifested itself within Danny’s dreams. As Junior denied McGarrett’s request that he shaves his head because he was going to “grow his fro out” came to life in the future, as Junior is sporting a lot of hair on top of his head as well as on his face. And the moment of awkwardness between Tani and Junior– which seemed very heated in a romantic way– also came to life in Danny’s imagination.

Not a bad thing at all– just wonder how that will work, being on the same task force. HPD wouldn’t partner them up if they were romantically involved–so would that be a good idea if they worked on Five-0 together? I can’t answer that– but I sure would love to see it played out.

Adam’s new baby

Danny imagines that his friends Kono and Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) have a baby– and he visits Adam as he is gazing at his daughter in the nursery. Adam is nervous about being a new father, but Danny assures him that he will be great– he’s a great Uncle to Charlie, and he’ll be a great daddy to his daughter. It’s a sweet moment, but it makes me miss having Kono there. Kono being “away working a case” is going to get old soon, so I wonder how they are going to keep dealing with Adam working with Five-0 and his wife, the actual police officer, out of the picture.

McG and Danno in their golden years

As Lou gets the bomb squad in gear and actually breaks down a wall to get Danny out and into surgery, Danny sees himself and McGarrett sitting by the ocean near McG’s house as old men. Still bickering about why one didn’t do something for the other, or about who is the better role model for Danny’s now grandchildren, or about anything they can possibly pick at each other about. I was happy that the banter was hilarious and perfectly encapsulated their friendship. They are going to grow old together. They are going to see Danny’s children grow up and do great things. They are going to see Tani and Junior mature as officers and take over Five-0. These things will happen. Or maybe not. Perhaps when someone thinks they might die– they can see all the good things in people and hope they follow a path that makes them happy– and gives them peace of mind in case they don’t come back.

But we know how the episode ended– with Danny getting patched up and everyone giving Steve grief about his cutting his hair. Thankfully, we all know that hair grows back, almost as quickly as children grow up, people fall in love, and friends grow old together. Just don’t blink– you might miss all the good parts.


As there were so many great moments in both of the episodes that aired this week, the Five-0 Redux will return Friday, Dec. 22 with a complete review of the Christmas episode “ʻOni kalalea ke kū a ka lāʻau loa” (“A Tall Tree Stands Above the Others”). As there is no “Hawaii Five-0” scheduled to air next Friday, we’ll have a special “Five-0 Redux” as an additional treat.

New episodes of “Hawaii Five-0” return to its regular time slot on Friday, Jan. 5.

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

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