Hawaiians have always believed that one can learn from many different sources — we can gain knowledge from a kumu or teacher, from a kupuna or ancestor, from working the land or ocean, or merely by experience. We understand that we can learn from all aspects of life. This week’s “Hawaii Five-0” reflects that Hawaiian belief, which is somewhat evident in the storyline as well as in the title of their latest episode, “‘A ‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi.”
Written by Duppy Demetrius and directed by Karen Gaviola, the title is a traditional ʻōlelo noʻeau, or Hawaiian proverb or poetical saying, which means “all knowledge is not learned in just one school.” The episode has McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and the men of the Five-0 task force looking for the drug dealer who has gotten their hands on the technology for a driverless car so they can deliver their narcotics undetected. When one of the cars hits and kills a pedestrian, Five-0 begins to look into who is behind the 21st-century version of the corner dealer.
The secondary storyline features the females of Five-0, Tani (Meaghan Rath) and Quinn (Katrina Law) are forced to endure a day with a pair of YouTubers (comedy duo Tom Allen and John Parr) during a ride-along with Five-0. It was a complete waste of television time. It did, however, create some funny moments for the main cast, which helped console fans who just wanted to see more of their favorites and less of “Scooter (Allen) and Skeeze (Parr).”
The episode starts off with HPD chasing what turns out to be a driverless car throughout the streets of Honolulu, and McGarrett and Danno (Scott Caan), along with Lou (Chi McBride), Adam (Ian Anthony Dale) and Junior (Beulah Koale) begin looking for “the tech-savvy drug dealers” who seem to have found a new way to deliver their goods. While they look for the mastermind behind the remote-controlled drug dealer, McGarrett and Danno use one of their customers, Kanoa (Matthew Peschio), to set up a buy.
As Five-0 follows the drug car, Danno and McGarrett have some banter time about chasing KITT, the name of the talking intelligent car from the 1980s television show “Knight Rider.” The scene is classic McDanno, with Danno comparing KITT’s driving to McGarrett’s and referring to McGarrett as a catastrophist. McGarrett doesn’t want to lose the car even though it has a tracker. Danno accuses him of always “expecting the worst at all times.”
McGarrett argues that he plans for the worst rather than expecting it — just as the car drives off the side of the highway down onto a rocky beach. It’s interesting that whenever McG and Danno get some partner time, they no longer have “carguments,” but seem to have more philosophical discussions about life and love. There’s still that witty back and forth between the two characters, but they seem to have tamped down the sharpness, which fans appreciate.
Chasing the driverless car eventually leads them to a tech whiz kid Julia (Sophie Oda) who invented the software for Tropovision Technologies, a company known for making drones. Really it’s Julia’s father, a recovering addict, who was forced to steal her login info and give the plans for the car to his former drug-dealer friends. Just as Five-0 is about to save him from being killed, Julia hacks into one of the cars and uses it to take out the dealers, just in time for McGarrett, Junior and Adam to sweep in and pick up the pieces. It’s a pretty ingenious way to catch the bad guys, even if it did remind us of the action KITT used to get into back in the day.
HANGING WITH T-BONE AND Q-MONEY
While McGarrett and the Five-0 gents were chasing remote-control drug cars, Tani and Quinn are forced to entertain the annoying duo of Scooter and Skeeze as they unrealistically shadow the ladies on a murder investigation. It was funny to watch Tani and Quinn make fun of the two supposed media influencers. There were a few easter eggs in their scenes, most notably Tani’s response to their request to get breakfast — “Let’s go munch on some grindage” — a phrase made famous by Pauly Shore in Peter Lenkov’s movie “Son in Law.”
But, if nothing else, it was entertaining to see Duke (Dennis Chun) give Scooter and Skeeze a scathing deadpan look when they greeted him with a “What up, D-Dizzle?” And watching Noelani (Kimee Balmilero) fangirl over them before they ask to take a selfie with the dead body she is tending to, was pretty funny. Their scene with Kamekona (Taylor Wily) at the shrimp truck was like two social media kings meeting the Big Kahuna of self-promotion. It all helped us be able to swallow the implausibility of both men being anywhere near a crime scene.
A PALATE CLEANSER
Overall, the episode was one where the action and humor fill in for strong character and plot development. While these types of episodes are usually fun and entertaining to watch, they are often more fluff than substance.
As next week’s episode looks like it will be a deep-dive into McGarrett’s relationship with his CIA operative mother Doris (Christine Lahti) — it seems as if an episode of humor and action might be the palate cleanser we needed before the sparks and the tears begin to fly.