A wise man once told me the only reason he watches “Hawaii Five-0” is to see McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and the Five-0 team work a case, catch a bad guy, lock ’em up and then go have a beer. That’s a pretty good plan for a police procedural to follow each week, and for this wise man, who also happens to be my dad, it works perfectly. I’m pretty sure he’s not alone, and many others who watch “Hawaii Five-0” probably agree. We watch for entertainment, for the action and drama, and to see our favorite team solve the case, catch the bad guy, and come back to do it all over again the next week.
This week’s episode, “Ke kanaka i hāʻule mai ka lewa mai,” which is Hawaiian for “The Man Who Fell from the Sky,” was one of those entertaining episodes we will happily watch just to see the team come together in the end. Sure, we had to suspend our disbelief a little more than usual — but since this one was written by David Wolkove and Matt Wheeler, it wasn’t much of a surprise.
The episode starts off with a family flying from the mainland to sunny Hawaii for vacation. Dad — Jack Teague (David Preston) — heads to the bathroom right before they are about to land, and he is accosted by a man with a gun, who straps them into a parachute, blows open the door and rockets the two of them toward Oahu. The team needs to find the all-American dad, but as they begin to investigate, they realize there is more to his story than just being a kidnap victim.
We really should give Wolkove and Wheeler some catchy boy-band name because most of their plotlines tend to lean toward those from the ’80s when two-dimensional villains, seriously implausible characters, and Communist spies were the norm. For some reason, this episode was not as unbelievable as some of the others Wolkove and Wheeler have written, and perhaps it was because of Eagle Egilsson’s direction. The pace was tight, the reactions of the characters were pretty believable — at least for the main “Five-0” characters — and the action and stunts were super cool to watch.
McG AND DANNO SAVE THE DAY
Really, it was the main characters who saved the episode. After nine seasons, watching McGarrett and Danno (Scott Caan) play off each other is like watching a perfectly choreographed dance. Yes, it’s all scripted for them, but their action-reaction time is completely intuitive. It’s natural and fun to watch. There is more of an edge of fondness and compatibility there than one of argumentative meanness that used to creep up on them in past seasons.
The scene in McG’s yard when sweet Eddie the dog digs up all of Kamekona’s (Taylor Wily) loan money for the restaurant was hilarious. Danno is right, burying the money is beyond ridiculous, but it did give us some great comedic moments. Danno yelling at McG, “don’t just stand there being handsome” and Junior (Beulah Koale) consoling a sad Eddie about how he hates it “when Mom and Dad fight” made the silliness of burying hundreds of dollars in the backyard a little easier to take.
GROVER AND JERRY STEP UP
There were also several nice moments between McG and Grover (Chi McBride) as McGarrett is forced to drive the Grover family vehicle since Danno and “the kids,” Junior and Tani (Meaghan Rath), went out into the field to search for Teague and his kidnapper. Jerry (Jorge Garcia) backs up the team with his magic table skills, and I loved his delighted exclaim of “booyah” when he found an important clue — especially when Jerry finds out that the dad-of-the-year they are looking for is actually a Chinese spy.
Usually, Grover and Jerry play in the sidelines, but it seems this week they were worked in more seamlessly and still had their own moments to shine. Grover always has a sassy sort of tongue-in-cheek delivery, and this week he delivered a few gems. When Grover and McGarrett follow a lead to find out more information from Agent Miller (Jack Coleman), who was the partner of disgraced CIA Agent Greer (Rochelle Aytes), it was hilarious how Grover tells Miller he was only talking to him long enough to allow McG to climb up into his balcony to question him. As always, Grover’s timing is effortless.
Yet it is the image of Grover sitting at McGarrett’s breakfast table in his drawers eating Froot Loops which might have made it worth how they wrecked his wife’s “third child” minivan. That image is definitely funny and helped to ease the serious ridiculousness of crashing the minivan into a car headed for the Chinese Embassy. The team wanted to stop the Chinese government from getting Teague, who just happens to be a double agent. All we needed was an ’80s soundtrack to play in the background and the scene would have been perfect.
DANNY SCHOOLS THE KIDS
The team splits its duties this week which worked well. It was fun to watch Danno mentor Tani and Junior for a change. McGarrett gives Danno the task of taking the kids into the jungle to find Teague — and to impart his vast experience as a detective on the young ones. Danno showed them that McG is not the only seasoned field operator on the team. Danno shows Junior how Teague set up his tracks to make it look like he was heading in one direction while he went in another. His logic that when the evidence is too good to be true, and that you always need to look at why it is the way it is, was perfect. What made the scene was Junior asking Danno not to tell McGarrett about his schooling a Navy SEAL on tracking a suspect.
After Teague escapes by jumping off a waterfall, Danno tells “Jun” to call Jerry to find out where the river below ends. Calling Junior by Tani’s endearing nickname tells us he has not only accepted them as his teammates, but there is more of a relationship between the three of them outside of McGarrett. We love seeing Danno lead and teach — and while we can’t call him Mr. Miyagi — we still enjoy watching how he shares his knowledge with the young ones.
STILL SEARCHING FOR A NEW WO FAT
Rochelle Aytes returned this week as Greer, after double-crossing McGarrett in the season opener, “Ka ʻōwili ʻōkaʻi” (“Cocoon”). She is the CIA mole who McG once had a short relationship with long before he met Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth). Greer, unfortunately, is just another flat villain with a talent for monologuing as she tries to explain to McGarrett why she has betrayed her country. It’s all rhetoric, except I did like how she used a bit of Hawaiian history to try and convince McGarrett why our government is so evil.
She is right, the Kingdom of Hawaii was an independent nation until 1893 when our monarchy was overthrown by American and European businessmen with the support of the U.S. government. Yet that is hardly a reason to justify committing treason, and siding against not only your own country but also trying to hurt and possibly kill your former lover. Cold-hearted she is, but realistic she is not. It would have been better for her to say she did it for the money or the intrigue than to use history as her rationale for turning into a traitor.
TANI GOES SOLO
The most interesting part of the episode was when Tani goes to see the man who changed her life — her former police academy instructor, Captain Keo (Eric Steinberg). She asks him to run ballistics on the gun she found in Adam’s (Ian Anthony Dale) house. She needs to know if it is the gun that killed Noriko, his half-sister who killed Jessie Normura (Christine Ko) and stole $20 million from Adam in season eight. Tani wants to know without McGarrett finding out because if he knows she thinks Adam did it, and Adam turns out to be innocent — it will ruin her relationship with Five-0.
The best part was when she tells Keo that Five-0 is her family and that she can’t lose them. She really feels as if they will turn her out if she brings them what she found. We hardly think this is true, but it is what she firmly believes will happen if she turns Adam in. It was also nice to see her have to eat a big helping of humble pie to ask Keo for the favor. Especially since he was the instructor she punched out after he accused her of cheating. She was kicked out of the academy for insubordination, but this changed her life because it put her in place to join Five-0.
When Keo tells her he will run the gun for her — he also tells her he found out her father died a few days before she punched him and was kicked out. She tells Keo she didn’t want to use her father’s death as an excuse — that he would have hated that.
Perhaps this is why McGarrett asked her to join Five-0. She lost her father — like he did. She needed Five-0 — like he did. It was nice to see Tani’s story start to come full circle. Now we understand why she was kicked out of the academy, and perhaps the real reason McGarrett wanted her to join the team. Everyone needs a family and a place to call their own. We only hope it stays this way for Tani and McGarrett and the rest of Five-0.