As many of us are facing some extremely difficult times, it makes it even harder for the “Hawaii Five-0” fandom to watch the final two episodes of the series. This week’s episode “A ‘ohe ia e loa’a aku, he ulua kāpapa no ka moana,” which is Hawaiian for “He cannot be caught for he is an ulua fish of the deep ocean,” helped to set up the April 3 series finale “Aloha” (“Goodbye”), and gave us one more hour of McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and the Five-0 task force.
Written by Peter M. Lenkov and David Wolkove, and directed by Roderick Davis, the episode is a strong one, full of action and suspense. The episode continues with the storyline started in the March 13 episode, “He Pūhe‘e Miki” (“A Gripping Cuttlefish”), with McGarrett receiving a strange cipher from his long-dead mother, Doris, and McGarrett’s quest to figure out what’s next in his life. After he visits his father’s grave at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, his wistful conversation with Danno (Scott Caan) about how he’s had a tough year and is “feeling a little lost” — gives us even more insight into what kind of episode will be delivered in next week’s finale.
THE GOOD SAMARITAN
The title of his week’s episode, “A ‘ohe ia e loa’a aku, he ulua kapapa no ka moana,” is a ʻōlelo noʻeau, or Hawaiian proverb and poetical saying, which is “said in admiration of a hero or warrior who will not give up without a struggle.” The title seems to make a direct comparison to the main case of the week and the introduction of Lincoln Cole, played by Lance Gross. It was thought that Gross would become a series regular if “Hawaii Five-0” had been renewed for another season. Fans of the Peter Lenkov led “MacGyver” might remember Gross as he played the bounty hunter Billy Colton in the reboot that airs before “Hawaii Five-0.”
The episode opens as Gross’s character, Cole, a former Marine Gunnery Sergeant, helps a young mother, Sylvia (Diana Lu), and her son Manu (Zayne Eveland), from being killed by fugitive bank robbers. Cole is hiding under an assumed identity in Hawaii, and working as a busboy in a local restaurant because he feels immense guilt after losing his Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team in Kirkuk. He was labeled a hero, but could not face being honored because he was the only one to survive the ambush that killed his friends.
Cole’s predicament drives the case of the week, as Five-0 works to figure out who he is after he kills one of the bank robbers, Marc Acosta (John Orantes), who threatened Sylvia and Manu in their small apartment. When Acosta’s brother, Hector (Lobo Sebastian), promises to find Cole before Five-0 does in order to avenge Marc’s death — McGarrett and Junior (Beulah Koale) are led to search the home of Sergeant Major Phillips, played by special guest star, Chuck Norris. Phillips is helping Cole hide in order to protect him, and Norris plays the part perfectly as he greets McGarrett and Junior with an ax. Norris’s cameo is special to the “Hawaii Five-0” fandom not just because he is a television legend, but because Five-0 stunt coordinator Eric Norris is his son.
While the case of the week was more of a rescue — McGarrett trying to save Cole from a lifetime of self-hatred, and then having to rescue Sylvia and Manu when they are kidnapped in order for Hector to get his revenge — it was very fast-paced and gave both O’Loughlin and Gross several moments to shine. The scenes between McGarrett and Cole were excellent, between the intense fight when they first meet, as well as a revealing and emotional scene between the two special operators in the Five-0 rendition room. But the climactic shoot out between Hector’s crew and Five-0 as they back up Cole was completely satisfying as we got to see the entire Five-0 crew work together one more time.
WORRYING ABOUT MCGARRETT
The title also seems to also have a connection to McGarrett and what he has been struggling with for the last few episodes. McGarrett has always been the “hero or warrior who will not give up without a struggle” as the title suggests. He has never given up, yet now it seems as if he needs more than just a vacation. “Ten years ago, I hit the ground running hard and I’ve been running ever since. And I feel like maybe I need a little time away to get some perspective,” he tells Danno.
The partners are sitting on the beach having a pau hana beer and continuing their earlier conversation about having a tough year. The scene is reminiscent of a dream Danno once had, and McGarrett seems to reflect, when he says “This is how I thought it would end for us — a couple of old guys sitting on a beach, watching sunsets.” Yet, their conversation ends with Danno suggesting McGarrett get away from it all by going to New Jersey, which McGarrett, of course, finds rather ridiculous.
YET ANOTHER MYSTERY
Since he received the cipher, McGarrett has carried it around trying to work out the code. While he seems more irritated than interested in yet another mystery courtesy of Doris, he is open to Cole’s offer to contact a friend who’s “a wizard at that kind of stuff.” Yet when Danny confronts a masked intruder rifling through the papers on McGarrett’s desk, McGarrett realizes that someone is trying to steal Doris’s message from the grave. It seems fairly obvious that the series finale of “Hawaii Five-0” will bring some sort of conclusion to the cipher, and hopefully all of the mysteries McGarrett has faced for the last ten years.