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Five-0 Redux: Finding solace an important step for Dale’s ‘Hawaii Five-0’ character

  • COURTESY CBS

    Adam Noshimuri, played by Ian Anthony Dale, in the 200th episode of “Hawaii Five-0.”

Since we met Adam Noshimuri, played by Ian Anthony Dale, in the second season of “Hawaii Five-0,” he has been a man on a mission. As the well-educated son of a yakuza boss, his mission has always been to find a home somewhere in his life. Adam’s father, Hiro Noshimuri (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), raised him to be a legitimate businessman away from the criminal underworld. While Adam didn’t have the cold, killer instinct a yakuza heir needed to be a crime boss, he still understands how that world works. He never seemed to be fully committed to the life of a criminal, but he certainly was no innocent.

When Adam met Officer Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park), he was working to legitimize his father’s business and distance himself from the yakuza. Their relationship was a juxtaposition of hero and villain — with both playing either role at some point in their relationship. Yet besides being on opposites sides of the law, they seemed perfectly matched. We called them the Romeo and Juliet of Five-0 — no one thought they should be together, and everything seemed to be stacked against them — yet their love was strong and kept them united.

Last season, while Kono was on the mainland working her own investigation into illegal sex trafficking, Adam helped McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Five-0 investigate organized crime in Hawaii. This year, he was asked to join officially join the Five-0 task force.

One of the holes in Adam’s storyline is the fact that while he is given a gun and a Five-0 badge — he is still an ex-felon who did time for manslaughter. Yes, we can chalk this up to the fact he is widely trusted by McGarrett, Danno (Scott Caan) and Lou (Chi McBride) — members of Five-0 and HPD — plus he helped the task force find the “big fish” who wanted to take over in Hawaii. It seems as if McGarrett’s means and immunity covers a lot of bases where Adam is concerned. It says a lot about how much they trust and love Adam in order for him to be added to the Five-0 team.

THE END OF ROMEO AND JULIET

For fans who have watched Adam and Kono fall in love, kill to protect each other, hide from the yakuza, sacrifice themselves, only to finally find each other and be married, and then be ripped apart again and again — the resolution to their story was a bit anticlimactic. Dale had a lead role in the summer CBS series “Salvation” and did not enter “Five-0’s” ninth season until the sixth episode, “Aia i Hi‘ikua; i Hi‘ialo” (“Is Borne on the Back; Is Borne in the Arms”), so when Adam returned to Five-0, he brought the news to his friends that he and Kono were over. They had changed too much after being apart so long, and were getting divorced.

Logistically, we all knew this was coming, as Grace Park has a lead in another television show and has made it pretty clear while promoting her new role that she would not be returning. When you are quoted as saying, “I chose what was best for my integrity” regarding why you left “Hawaii Five-0,” on principle, you’re probably not going to return as a guest star. Keeping that in mind, Adam announcing their divorce and going on a bender to mend his broken heart was probably in the cards from the day Park left the show.

What makes their breakup so sad was all the memories and obstacles they overcame to be together. Adam killed his own brother to save Kono’s life, and they spent months on the run from the yakuza. Adam gave himself up so Kono could get away and return home to Five-0. With the team’s help, she cleared the way for Adam to come out of hiding. When Kono finally found Adam, he was trying to stay under the radar while washing dishes in a coffee shop in Vancouver. When she tells him, “we can go home,” it was the most romantic reunion scene ever.

That was until Adam went to jail for killing two yakuza thugs who had threatened Kono; he spent 18 months at Halawa Correctional Facility. When Kono dropped him off at the prison we all thought our hearts would break. When he got out of jail, they had the second most romantic reunion scene ever. Still through all of that — they couldn’t make it work. Not surprising, considering what happened with Park’s role on the show, but it’s very sad to see that television relationship come to an end.

ADAM’S ROCKY PATH

Besides the obvious strain on his marriage since Kono flew off to the mainland to work on rounding up all the sex traffickers she could find, Adam has been on a rocky path these last two seasons. In season eight, McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) asked Adam to find a major underworld player who wanted to become The Crime Boss of Hawaii — executing all the other bosses on the island in order to consolidate and crown themselves king of the Hawaiian underworld. Yet in this case, it was someone who wanted to be queen, as we eventually found out.

This queen had a connection to Adam — she was his half-sister, Noriko (Susan Park), who he did not know even existed until she kidnapped him, stole $20 million from him, and killed his confidential informant Jessie Nomura (Christine Ko). When Duke (Dennis Chun) finds Noriko’s body washed up on the shore, even McGarrett looks at Adam first. When the gun which killed her finds its way into Adam’s kitchen junk drawer — because that is where you always hide the weapon that murdered your crazy power-hungry half-sister — even Tani (Meaghan Rath), who finds the gun while Adam was on the mainland with Kono, thinks he could have killed Noriko.

We’re not sure why she thinks this. We’re hoping Tani knows Adam would probably hide a gun he used to murder someone in a much better place than his kitchen junk drawer amongst the twist-ties and shoyu packets, but whatever. It seems as if when “Hawaii Five-0” wants a character to find something, they are going to place neon Acme arrows around it to point us all in the lame direction they want us to go. The whole setup of Adam was a farce and any decent investigator — especially for someone in Five-0 — would have blown holes in it, but we don’t write for television, so what do we know?

To be fair, after Adam found out that Noriko killed Jessie, he told Tani that prison was too good for Noriko, “she deserves worse, a lot worse,” he said. So when Tani finds the gun, with these words echoing in her head, she has the gun secretly tested to see if it really did kill Noriko. Adam himself has also figured out the gun probably killed Noriko and someone is trying to frame him, and once the two are honest with each other — they finally realize that someone is setting him up.

TRYING TO MOVE ON

After their talk, the storyline is wrapped up in about 10 minutes of airtime. At the start of “Mai ka po mai ka ‘oia‘i‘o” (“Truth Comes from the Night”) we see Mr. Kimura (Dana Lee), the yakuza banker who holds all of their money, facing the head of the yakuza and other members of the syndicate in a secret meeting. They accuse him of killing Noriko and framing Adam. They are not happy with him, as they say he needs to be “a ghost” so that no one knows where they money is or how they can get it. His “neutrality and honor must be unquestioned,” they say. Since he tried to frame Adam for Noriko’s death in order to get back the $20 million, he acted against one of them and therefore betrayed them all.

Still, they give him a way out — yakuza justice or Five-0 justice. Adam will help him with the Five-0 justice. I think his way is probably far less bloody. While Adam clears his name and the murder of Noriko by bringing Kimura up on murder charges, it seemed to be a really simple wrap-up. It makes sense, and we’re glad they didn’t drag the subplot on and on — but it was almost a deus ex machina kind of resolution.

Really, all we want for Adam is some kind of peace in his life. Much like we wish for all the characters of “Hawaii Five-0.” But peace is not dramatic enough for our heroes — so it’s not likely the rest of Adam’s year will be filled with regular cases and easy outcomes. Still, perhaps now that he is a permanent fixture with Five-0, and he doesn’t have the murder of his half-sister riding on his conscience, we can hope his storylines will follow a more believable path.


Wendie Burbridge writes the “Five-0 Redux” and “Magnum Reloaded” blogs for staradvertiser.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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