Five-0 Redux: Near-tragedy helps Danny forgive, make peace with past on “Hawaii Five-0” | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Features | Five-0 Redux

Five-0 Redux: Near-tragedy helps Danny forgive, make peace with past on “Hawaii Five-0”

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    McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), right, and the Five-0 team support Danny (Scott Caan) when his daughter, Grace (Teilor Grubbs), gets into a life-threatening car accident and lands in critical condition.

Ever since the Hawaiian word for “family” became part of our everyday vernacular, it is not uncommon for people to call close friends or a group they work or socialize with, part of their “ohana.” The core foundation of “Hawaii Five-0” is the ohana and the sense of family that surrounds Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), Danny Williams (Scott Caan), the rest of the Five-0 team. It includes the other detectives and officers in the task force, as well as the extended members who assist the team to solve cases and help get the job done.

Ohana prevails in every episode and is threaded throughout each season. This week’s episode is no different, as McGarrett and Lou (Chi McBride) work to find out the truth behind a near-fatal crash involving Danny’s daughter, Grace (Teilor Grubbs). Danny’s ex-wife, and Grace and Charlie’s (Zach Sulzbach) mother, Rachel (Claire van der Boom), have to stand by while Grace is in critical condition and has brain surgery in order to save her life.

The episode, titled “Ka hauli o ka mea hewa ‘ole, he nalowale koke,” which is Hawaiian for “A bruise inflicted on an innocent person vanishes quickly,” is an olelo noeau and has a much deeper meaning for Hawaiians. “Mean words uttered against the innocent may hurt, but the hurt will not last,” is the translation of the Hawaiian proverb and poetical saying. Written by Zoe Robyn and directed by Roderick Davis, the episode is full of tension and raw emotion yet moves quickly toward a satisfying conclusion. The entire storyline is upsetting and dramatic, as it deals with Danny and Steve, and with Danny’s daughter, Grace, who most fans have watched grow up on screen.

DANNY’S WORSE NIGHTMARE

The episode starts off like every parent’s worse nightmare. Grace doesn’t come home, can’t be reached and Rachel has no idea where she might be. She wakes Danny at 2 a.m. looking for help to find their daughter. Danny uses his Five-0 reach and has HPD run a trace on Grace’s phone and they head out to find her. They roll up on a horrific scene — Grace’s car off the side of the road, and an ambulance about to pull away. Danny asks an officer if it’s his daughter and as he says “yes,” and Rachel screams Grace’s name as the bus drives away.

McGarrett meets them at the hospital and Danny tells him Grace is in critical condition and a new friend, Katie (Ana Cabrol), was in the car with her. She’s in the intensive care unit as well and it does not look good. Katie’s father (Regi Davis) blames Grace for the accident, wondering if her “cop dad has always bailed her out when she drives drunk or like a lunatic.” McGarrett stops Danny from getting into a physical confrontation and has two officers take the father away to cool off.

Duke (Dennis Chun) steps in and sadly tells McGarrett that HPD is opening an investigation and vehicle homicide is stepping in to make an assessment. He apologizes and explains they are just following protocol. McGarrett hates the news, saying to Duke, “You know this girl. It’s not her. Something’s wrong here.” If anyone has to deliver this news, it should be Duke, who looks as upset as McGarrett.

Grace has to have a neurosurgeon come in to operate on her because there is pressure on her brain. As Rachel and Danny wait during her surgery, they discuss the big elephant in the room — Rachel’s continued practice of not telling Danny important information about his children. This time, it is the fact that Stan, Rachel’s ex-husband and Grace’s step-father, bought Grace a car. Danny tells her, “There’s all kinds of things that happen that you should have told me about, that you don’t tell me about. I’m used to it, all right? I’m used to it.”

FACING THE PAST

He’s referring to the fact that Rachel hid the truth that Charlie was his biological child until Charlie was about 3 years old. In the first season, Danny and Rachel had an affair while she was married to Stan and she got pregnant. Danny thought they were reconciling, but in the second season she told Danny the baby was actually Stan’s child, and she stayed with her husband.

In the fifth season, Rachel returns to tell Danny that Charlie has a rare disease that affects his immune system. He needs a bone-marrow transplant from a parent and admits to him that Charlie is actually his son, and Danny can save his life. As you can imagine, Danny was very angry at Rachel for keeping his child away from him for so long and causing him to miss the first years of Charlie’s life.

It seems while Danny is angry, he admits to Rachel he can’t really do anything about it. “That moment’s gone now,” he says, meaning he can never get them back. His response to Rachel cuts much deeper than anger, but it is the bitter truth of the situation. He is hurt, and that seems harder for Rachel to deal with than if he just lashed out at her in anger.

It’s the first time he and Rachel have actually talked about what happened with Charlie. It was something fans were not happy with — that she lied to him for so many years, and denied his having a relationship with the boy. Now Danny is very active in Charlie’s life and they are very close, but it seems as if this is because of Danny’s reaction to the situation. By not allowing his anger to turn into bitterness or revenge against his children’s mother, being their father is much easier, and his children are much happier.

Caan is always so strong in these kinds of scenes, saying very few lines but meaning so much. His face gives away his hurt and his disappointment, and his resignation to the situation. Danny will give up his anger and resentment because he loves his children. That is the most important thing in his life. His kids, their health and their happiness. When Grace’s life is in danger, it is hard to discern if Caan is reacting as an actor or as a father. While he is a father of a daughter himself, he has also watched Grubbs grow up in the last nine years playing her on-screen dad. His reactions to Grace’s injuries seems believable and are just as heartbreaking as if they were actually happening. It’s a testament to Caan’s talents as well as his fatherlike relationship with Grubbs.

UNCLE STEVE IS ON THE CASE

Loving and taking care of his children seem to not only be Danny’s focus but McGarrett’s as well. He takes his role as their Uncle Steve very seriously. He and Lou arrive at the site of where Grace crashed her car and Junior (Beulah Koale) fills them in. Seems as if Grace missed a turn going 80 mph and before she could step on her brakes, she’d hit the embankment and flipped. As Danny had already told McGarrett that her tox screen was negative, the team deduce that something else caused her to be driving fast and flip the car.

They find evidence of another car that seemed to have stopped to see what happened but then took off after the car flipped. McGarrett finds that the second car has an oil leak, and they realized this car was what forced Grace’s car off the road.

They dump Grace’s phone and follow a red herring based on threatening texts sent by one of Grace’s classmates, Nathan Cowell, played by Hawaii actor Matt T. Schewe. Poor Nathan. When Danny finds him in the hospital waiting room with other members from Grace’s class, he looks like he knows that death will come to him if he does not confess what he knows.

He tells Danny one of Grace’s classmates and resident mean girl, Cameron Ross (Kailee Regan Brandt), sent an evil text via Nathan’s phone after Grace confronted her at the party they were all at the night before. Cameron had been showing an embarrassing picture of Katie to everyone and harassing Grace’s new friend. Grace put a stop to it and dumped Cameron’s phone into a beer, then she and Katie left the party. After Grace’s accident, the texts were misconstrued as being more threatening than they were.

While Cameron doesn’t win any prizes for being a decent human being, she does give McGarrett and Lou a clear timeline for the evening. Cameron sent the texts soon after Grace ruined her phone and was home by midnight, her clueless father confirmed to the detectives. So McGarrett wonders what happened to Grace and Katie between midnight and 2 a.m. Lou suggests they went to get something to eat before going home. Junior checks out the late-night spots near the party and finds an employee at a local Zippy’s Restaurant who confirms two girls matching Grace and Katie’s description ate there after midnight.

(Zippy’s is a popular chain restaurant in Hawaii that serves plate lunch-style meals, chili and rice, saimin, loco mocos, and the best fried chicken this side of the Mississippi. It is famous for its Zip Pac, a bento-style boxed meal that is perfect for those who likes to surf, hike, play sports or eat. Both a take-out and sit-down restaurant, it is a staple for casual dining in Hawaii. It is akin to Bob’s Big Boy, Denny’s or Perkins on the mainland — but the food is way better. Everyone goes there for late-night dining; Grace and Katie are no exceptions.)

Zippy’s sends over video footage and a proud Uncle Steve sees Grace standing up to a creeper who can’t leave the two girls alone. Video footage from the Zippy’s parking lot shows them running away as the man follows them, and the team gets a glimpse at his license plate. Lou and McGarrett find the suspect, Keith (Markus Silbiger), who has the same kind of classic car they saw in the video footage. And it just so happens to have an oil leak.

Posing as a potential buyer, McGarrett takes Keith for a very fast test drive. While he is racing down the road, he explains to Keith that his car leaks the same kind of specialty oil they found at a crime scene. He also has him on camera at a Zippy’s harassing the two underage girls who were almost killed at that same crime scene 20 minutes after Keith was seen talking to them.

A scared Keith is trying to put on his seat belt as he asks McGarrett if he’s a cop. McGarrett tells him not only is he a cop, but “worse for you, I’m an uncle of one of those girls you put in the ICU.” Needless to say, Keith confesses and as he is being loaded into a patrol car, Lou tells McGarrett: “He’ll get negligent injury in the first degree. Reckless driving. It’s jail time, Steve.”

But McGarrett is not convinced it is good enough, saying, “If Grace doesn’t pull through, it doesn’t make a difference.”

FINDING GRACE

But Grace does pull through, and everyone is grateful. Especially her parents and her Uncle Steve. At the hospital, while they wait for Grace to get out of surgery, Rachel shows Danny Grace’s graduation slideshow and they watch their little girl turn from a baby to a young lady. There are pictures of Grace mostly with Daddy Danno and Uncle Steve, and it is touching and sweet. It seems in that moment as if Danny has forgiven Rachel.

When they are given the news that she’s OK, Uncle Steve is there, and they all hug, thankful their girl is fine, and that she is of course, innocent of any wrongdoing. The hurt will not last for Grace, as we see her coming home a week later to spend time with her Five-0 ohana. Hopefully the same can be said about her parents, that the hurt will not last, and that perhaps now they can be at peace with the past, and with each other.


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


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