Copyright ©2010-2011 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
JUMP TO ANOTHER SEASON:
NEW FIVE-0 (2010-?):
CLASSIC FIVE-O (1968-1980):
RETURN TO THE HAWAII FIVE-O HOME PAGE
Overall, this pilot episode was better than I expected, though not without some issues. The writers compressed a considerable amount of action and plot, including a lot of back story about the characters, into three-quarters of an hour. At times there was too much information, not to mention the silly-if-you-think-about-it all-encompassing task force with carte blanche access to all sorts of sophisticated weaponry and technology created by Governor Pat Jameson (Jean Smart) which becomes Five-0.
Alex O'Loughlin as McGarrett did a good job (and no ... he does not have an Australian accent -- really), though his serious, determined character seemed even more wedded to his job than Jack Lord's McGarrett. I found the transition from McGarrett bitching out the Governor at Pearl Harbor at the beginning of the show to him suddenly renewing his friendship with Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) too abrupt. I also thought McGarrett could have taken the time to shave for his father's funeral. Maybe this was a reference to the original McGarrett, who, in an early season episode, responded to a doctor who asked him, "Have you looked in the mirror lately?" by saying "Only when I shave, and I do that running."
Kim played his part, which hopefully will be developed more in future episodes, in an easy-going, laid-back manner. I enjoyed the banter between McGarrett and Danny Williams (Scott Caan). I can see now why James MacArthur reportedly liked this pilot -- Danno has a real attitude. Grace Park as Kono, on the other hand, had a thankless role. People who like the old show will dislike her for taking over the role played by Zoulou and people who watch the new show will see her as Mod Squad eye candy. A former champion surfer and soon-to-graduate rookie cop, her character is brought into the Five-0 team because she is supposedly an unknown quantity to the bad guys in Hawaii, a strategy that fails very quickly. In real life, after her job was up, she would have been let go with thanks.
I didn't like the ants-in-the-pants photography with a camera that cannot stop moving and rapid-fire editing, highly reminiscent of Jerry Bruckheimer productions like Armageddon. (The director of the pilot, Len Wiseman, had only three films to his credit prior to this one, including the Bruce Willis vehicle Live Free or Die Hard, which turned into a live-action cartoon in its finale.) As well, the fact that the photography is digital works to the detriment of the scenery, giving everything a Pixar-like quality.
The climactic fight on top of the container between McGarrett and his nemesis Victor Hesse was silly -- it reminded me of a video game. As well, McGarrett shoots Hesse with his gun that "conveniently" lands just beside where he falls after he is shot by Hesse. We then see Hesse fall into the water, but the big question is: did he really die?
The score was one of my major beefs with the early version of the pilot I saw, and despite the re-recording of the main theme (beginning and end credits -- the end credits weren't even heard on Global TV in Canada), things didn't improve much, though I notice the music for the Kono striptease scene was changed, made louder and more intense. The bottom line is: the score for this pilot episode was crap. Just like someone preparing for a first date, you would expect that the producers would want to make the best possible impression on people with their labor of love. I really have to wonder how much of the show's reported $8 million budget was spent on the score which TWO people worked on, according to the opening credits -- Brian Tyler and Keith Power. One thing that grabs you about the old pilot is the score, much of which ended up on the soundtrack album. Can you imagine the same thing happening for the new pilot's music? I can already see a "Music Inspired By" soundtrack for the new Five-0 coming out ... which is a fancy way of saying a CD with virtually no original music on it other than one or two pieces which were actually heard in the show, like the iconic main theme. The rest would be complete selections of rap and other drivel which was heard for a few seconds playing in the background.
The ending is lame, with the Five-0 team sitting around in their offices drinking beer, talking about the success of their first operation, and trying to come up with a name for the team. In an early version of the pilot, the words "Hawaii Five-0" flashed on the screen at the very end (in the broadcast version, it was the executive producers' names), giving some closure to the episode.
Overall, I give this pilot two and a half stars. I said earlier that I would give it three if the music was improved, which it was, but only for the Morton Stevens theme.
- Among the material cut from an early version of the script is a disturbing revelation about who is the mole in the Honolulu Police Department -- Ben Kokua!
- In the first confrontation between McGarrett and Williams, Danno whips out his HPD identification. The gold "badge" is on the left side, upside down. In the next shot of Danno a few seconds later, the badge is on the right of the holder, right side up.
- Some of the music is reminiscent of John Powell's scores for the Bourne movies, and -- at the end -- Michael Giacchino's for Lost.
- Danno drives a 2011 Ford Mustang 5.0. The ring tone for his ex-wife on his cell phone is from the shower scene in Psycho.
- How did the Five-0 team get surveillance equipment -- specifically cameras -- inside the warehouse where Sang Min, the people-smuggler, has his "office"?
- At the end, the Governor is freaking out because the ship where McGarrett's nemesis Victor Hesse is hiding out is "heading for international waters" This is not correct, it's just sitting at the dock.
- There is an incredible stunt during a shoot-out where O'Loughlin leaps over the trunk of a car, just when another car plows into it from behind (the jury is out on how this was done) and another eye-boggling action scene when a semi-trailer breaks through the door of Sang Min's warehouse, and some guy in front of it is seemingly run over. This driving-through-the-door strategy to rescue Kono, who has been identified as a cop, is dumb -- what if Kono was standing in the truck's path?
- Pay attention to McGarrett during the final scene -- in successive shots, he is sitting and standing.
This show had a certain "24" vibe to it, fast-paced and full of energy. However, like "24," a show I watched religiously, if you think about this episode carefully, there are lots of "things to talk about."
The beginning starts with a bang as Roland Lowry (Scott Cohen), a former National Security Agency computer genius who had top-secret clearance, is kidnapped by Serbians after the van he is riding in with two bodyguards is T-boned in downtown Honolulu at 6:15 in the morning. Lowry, who has a bank of computers in his house in a hidden room, was on his way to warn army bigshot General Tom Nathanson (Ned Van Zandt) about serious security threats to Hawaii.
When the bad guys' white truck plows into Lowry's black van (license number D5V 238) from its right side (looking forward), the front of the black truck goes flying off to its left when viewed from the front, but in a subsequent shot of the crash from the behind the black van, this is not the case. Also, in succeeding shots of the white truck after the bad guys jump out and start shooting, you can see a bunch of foliage behind it, but this white truck came out of nowhere at fast speed and I don't recall it spun around or anything after the crash. So the foliage behind this truck doesn't make sense; it should be a street behind the white truck. You also have to wonder ... if they T-boned Lowry's van, wasn't there a chance that they might kill or seriously injure him? What if he was not wearing his seatbelt, for example, even though being a paranoid-geeky-anal-computer-security ex-NSA type, this was probably unlikely.
McGarrett and Danno start the show carrying on like The Odd Couple again, something which I hope will be toned down in future episodes. The opening scene reveals some interesting trivia and clues, however.
Before Danno arrives, McGarrett is listening to a tape of his father's which was in the toolbox with the Champion sparkplug label on it. When McGarrett closes the box, if you look very quickly (this only lasts for a few frames), you can see there is an envelope in the box: Photo #1; Photo #2. It is addressed to John (presumably McGarrett) and the street address starts with 404, which was McGarrett's street number in the original show (404 Piikoi Street, which is a real address, across the street from the Ala Moana Shopping Centre). The postal code on this letter is 96821, which is not the code for 404 Piikoi Street which is 96814. If you investigate the 96821 postal code with Google maps -- http://bit.ly/dgNrpB -- it turns out to be a location in the middle of nowhere where there aren't even any roads. It is not McGarrett's father's beach house. Also on the letter, there are what looks like some stick men drawn in semaphore code. But aside from the letters U, N and U, this "message" doesn't make any sense.
McGarrett and Danno's squabbling is interrupted by a call from the Governor who enlists Five-0's help to find what has happened to Lowry. When the team arrives at the crash scene, Chin Ho is treated like a leper by some cop that he knew when he was on the force at HPD. Chin notices a traffic camera nearby and later pulls up footage that was taken during the crash. The first traffic camera shot of the accident shows long shadows on the ground like from telephone poles. In a subsequent shot, these shadows aren't there, and in the last such shot, there is what looks like the shadow of a tree. These traffic cam shots have different numbers at the bottom (not the time), suggesting there was more than one camera, even though Chin Ho points out only one originally. And the final "camera shot" is of one of the wounded Serbs going into some building after his comrades abandon him and leave with Lowry. This camera has no number at all on the bottom. Is it the traffic camera or another security camera? The presumably stationary traffic camera isn't like the one in Blade Runner which can go around corners!
To help them understand the significance of the computers in Lowry's house, McGarrett and Danno enlist the help of Adam Charles (Martin Starr), a clichéd computer hacker who can type 200 words per minute (sort of like the way Stephen King writes, I imagine) and can immediately grasp everything about what is going on by just a few quick glances at the monitor screens.
Lowry's girl friend Natalie Reed (Ivana Milicevic) offers to take care of Lowry's son Evan (Colin Ford) after the kidnapping and Kono hangs out with both of them, making sure that the kid is OK. Soon enough, Kono discovers some Cyrillic writing on a pad in a drawer at Reed's house, and puts two and two together, i.e., Reed is one of the Serbians (her name is later revealed to be Nadia Lukovic). A terrific kick-ass fight between the two women follows, ending up in the back yard swimming pool, just as the ringleader of the Serbians, Drago Zankovic (Peter Stormare), arrives on the scene. He forces Kono to drive himself, Nadia and Evan to Dillingham Field.
This is where things start to get "24" dumb. At Dillingham, the Serbians are using Lowry's expertise to lower the radar around Oahu so a couple of mysterious Asian-looking guys can fly in and they can sell them some equally mysterious goods and/or services including some glowing electronic device that Lowry may have had in his suitcase when he was kidnapped that morning. McGarrett, Danno and Chin Ho just happens to be driving in the middle of nowhere (but in that neighborhood), and the Asians' black plane with no markings that is flying "under the radar" just happens to pass overhead. Chin Ho immediately knows that something sinister is going on and that the plane will land at Dillingham because "there is a skydiving school around here somewhere"!
Tied up with duct tape along with Evan in a warehouse-like building at Dillingham, Kono uses MacGyver-like ingenuity to use a nail to remove the tape binding her wrists, just as Five-0 arrives in the building, followed by a barrage of stunts, shooting and explosions.
There is a great "LOL" exchange at the end between McGarrett and Danno as Drago is taken away:
McGarrett: Book 'em, Danno
Williams: Really? Is that gonna be a thing now?
McGarrett: You don't like it?
Williams: I don't like it.
McGarrett: I think it's catchy.
The ending, with McGarrett, Danno and Chin Ho dressed in their navy and HPD uniforms (and McGarrett and Danno clean-shaven!) is touching. But wonders whether Chin Ho could really administer the HPD "oath of allegiance," considering he resigned from the force.
Oh yeah -- the music is still crap. Can't they have just a few seconds of the old music (even the main theme) in the show (and not just the titles where the old theme appears now). They do want to hook older viewers of the classic Five-O, don't they?
- General Nathanson tells McGarrett that the United States Pacific Command in Hawaii is responsible for "150 million square miles ... literally half the earth." But the total square mileage of the earth is around 197 million, so this figure is actually more like three-quarters of the total.
- Like in the old show, Kono refers to McGarrett as "boss." Another line which looks back -- McGarrett says "I want every Serbian passport in Hawaii in the last six months."
- There are also some similarities to the failed 1997 pilot. In Ohana, McGarrett barks orders very similarly to FBI agent Nick Irons (Russell Wong), whose stock line was "I want it ten minutes ago." And in the 1997 show, a woman named Shana Dennis is tutor to the son of the bad guy, Napoleon DeCastro, who is head of the local mob. But it turns out she is a Russian operative working with a renegade KGB Colonel. DeCastro is being set up by the Russians to be the fall guy for the assassination at the beginning of the show, where Governor Dan Williams is wounded. A bit similar to Lowry's girl friend, also friends with a lead character's son, turning out to be Eastern European.
- The guy playing the father in the elevator is a dead ringer for a young Robert Witthans, the late actor who played many small parts in the original show like military bigshots, McGarrett's barber, etc.
- Local color: McGarrett refers to "pakalolo," meaning marijuana (almost literally "wacky tobaccky"). Danno brings McGarrett some malasadas, a popular donut-like confection. Lowry's house is in the Kahala district, same area as where Jack Lord used to live.
- There are no license plates on the blue metallic Chevrolet Express (thanks to Dalen) which the Serbians use to take Lowry to their hideout at Dillingham Field. Not too smart -- the cops could probably pick up on this quickly.
- There was great potential for a comic scene (sort of) when McGarrett was dangling the wounded Serbian Sergei Ivanovitch off the building and Chin Ho suddenly interrupted his "Guantanamo"-like grilling (according to Danno) by addressing them as "ladies." I thought, what if McGarrett suddenly turned and let go of Ivanovitch?
The big problem with this show is the script, which verges on "Season 10 of the original show" territory -- which is to say, mediocre. There are far too many "it just so happens that..." moments, as well as other implausibilities.
For example, at the beginning "it just so happens that" the entire Five-0 team are grooving at a Kukui High School football game (same high school that Chin Ho and McGarrett attended) and "it just so happens that" Danno spots some potential troublemakers, which leads to shooting, which leads to Five-0's investigating connections between the local Samoans and Triads and the New Jersey Mafia. Like the beginning of the previous show, the topography of the shootout in this one, and especially the editing, leaves a lot to be desired. Although at one point McGarrett is aiming a gun right at one of the potential assassins, in subsequent shots this guy completely disappears. There are only five shots fired, yet "six friendlies are wounded" and "two hostiles are dead," according to McGarrett.
Like the original Chin Ho played by Kam Fong, Daniel Dae Kim's character has a lot of relatives, including cousin Sid, an undercover cop who flees from the gunplay. This cop hates Chin something fierce because of the scandal of corruption which caused Chin to leave the force that has tainted Sid in turn. When Chin finally catches up with Sid later, it's amazing that the relatively puny Chin can handcuff Sid, who is much larger, and drag him back to Five-0 headquarters (there is precedent for this in the earlier show, where Chin Ho had to deal with punks in a manner which was laughable).
Like in the original show, in this one, McGarrett is all-knowing. He knows, for example, that a tattoo on the dead shooter from the football game is a "14K tattoo," meaning he is a Triad enforcer. (Triads are Chinese criminal organizations. Presumably people know this? They were featured in the original series episode Nine Dragons.) McGarrett knows about the history of Triad and Samoan gangs on Oahu. And he also knows that taking iodine and spraying it on a pizza box (and "it just so happens" that there is iodine and a spray bottle handy) will reveal that the box was used to transport guns.
Five-0's investigation leads them to Joey (Max Casella), the owner of West of Queens Pizza who, like Danno, is from New Jersey. Joey (who should have been played by Joe Pesci) has connections to the Salvo Mafia family from that state (who are into "prostitution, loan sharking, protection and drugs"). He is taken for a ride by McGarrett and Danno in a fancy yacht (is this an expense paid for by the Governor?) out to a shark cage in the middle of the harbor and tossed into it. Despite McGarrett's comment to Danno that the Galapagos sharks circling nearbly are "harmless," at least one web page describes them as "dangerous" and capable of aggressive behavior towards humans. This scene leaves a lot to be desired from the angle of civil rights -- even Jack Bauer from "24" never went this far.
The Governor also throws more money away with the formally-dressed McGarrett and Danno driving in a 2010 Ferrari California Convertible GT to a gambling den in Hawaii Loa Ridge, described on a web page as "a private suburban subdivision in East Honolulu with its own tennis courts, parks, club house and gatehouse security." This is where things start to get very stupid, aside from some peculiar jerky photography focusing on the waitresses at this event, which includes the undercover Kono. "It just so happens that" Chin's cousin Sid, as part of his undercover guise, is in charge of security for this joint, and he sneaks McGarrett and Danno in on the invitation-only guest list. It takes Salvo's goons about two minutes to figure out something is fishy, which puts Sid's life in serious peril. (But you have to wonder why Salvo's men also wouldn't check the employees, including Kono. She not only serves drinks, but is the waitress who serves a drink to Salvo himself while she is attaching a hidden microphone with David Copperfield-like stealth to his clothing.) Later, Danno and Kono pretend to be a couple making out (nice perk, Danno!) so they can thwart Salvo's assassination of Sid, which ends up in a ridiculous poolside gun battle with Chin Ho arriving with "backup" (which seems to be no one).
The show ends back at the Five-0 headquarters, with the team watching some old football footage of McGarrett, who was wearing number 50, "five-o" (note: not five-zero). The explanation for this number (you know where this is going) is very lame.
There are a few funny moments in the show, all emanating from Danno. For one thing, we learn that Danno talks about McGarrett to his daughter Grace. McGarrett also tells Danno "I can't wait to meet your ex," to which Danno replies, "Yeah, the two of you can plan my demise." The obligatory line pops up when McGarrett lets a suspect go and says to Danno, "You want me to book him ... Danno?" (O'Loughlin says this with a smirk.) Danno replies, "That's funny? You know there is something wrong with you, right?" Scott Caan has a couple of pretty emotional scenes, one where he talks to his ex-wife's lawyer on the phone, the second where he thinks he is talking to his ex via the intercom at the gate of her palatial estate.
The non-stop music in this show is still crap. McGarrett's chase through the International Marketplace uses what sounds like the same underscore as the shootout from the beginning of episode two. We are only in the third show -- are they already using "stock tracks"? Of course, much of the score is so generic, it is difficult to tell. I kept asking myself throughout the show, "Does this music ever SHUT UP?" As well, the sound mix has a lot of problems, making some of the dialogue incomprehensible.
- Watch the scenes where McGarrett and Danno are "driving" (actually a car in the studio with projected backdrops). Although they are driving at a very high speed, they persistently take their eyes away from the road for far longer than you would expect. After a while, this really started to drive me crazy! As well, the projected backgrounds in this episode have a very "smeary" look to them, unlike in the pilot episode where they seemed to be more realistic.
- The beginning of this show gives a twist to the usual "tourist" shots seen in the previous two episodes. You think it is another of these shots, but it's a closeup of the Maori cheerleader at the football game (identified in the end credits as "Haka Leader").
- The woman who takes Danno's daughter away from the scene of the shooting at the beginning of the show is Helen Torco, who played the dancer featured in the main title credits for every show of the old series. Her face was seen only in the pilot movie "Cocoon."
- Danno's ringtone for his wife's lawyer is not the Darth Vader theme from The Empire Strikes Back as some WWW sites are reporting but the Funeral March from Chopin's second piano sonata (http://bit.ly/cvJ0CI). Let's face it, the producers would rather use a public domain tune than pay John Williams very expensive royalties (see the SCTV DVD of the Schmenge brothers "Salute to John Williams," where all the Williams music was removed and replaced with similar-sounding material).
- McGarrett quote: "We're in the business of making things better."
- McGarrett tells Danno that "Iolani Pizza" in Honolulu is the best. But he prounounces this "Eye-o-lani."
- While discussing Salvo's forays into the islands, Chin Ho says that Honolulu "just shot down legalized gambling again," but then goes on to say "Salvo knows this is an island of opportunity, so he takes over legal gambling, [and] does things his way." Huh? I listened carefully, he didn't say the word "illegal" in reference to Hawaii's gambling.
- McGarrett and Danno in the Ferrari are seen coming out of a driveway near the Honolulu Advertiser building.
- Why does Kono have an earpiece hidden in the heel of her shoe which she removes from the heel once she is inside the gambling den? Why not just wear it from when she shows up to work?
- At the gambling den, Danno tells McGarrett "You look like James Bond," an in-joke, considering Alex O'Loughlin was a candidate for the iconic spy role which he lost to Daniel Craig.
- The license plate on a van from the Governor's office at the end of the show is State #6. (The Governor gets someone to put the heat on Danno's ex-wife's lawyer to get the ex to lay off the custody hassles ... kind of a sleazy move on the Governor's part.) Presumably there are lower license numbers.
- An American Medical Response ambulance (a real company) is seen after the shootout.
- Another similarity with the earlier show is that the old Chin Ho was often the "technical guy," getting to operate surveillance tape recorders, wiretap equipment and so forth (the 1970's equivalent of today's high-tech gadgetry). (Thanks to Jeff Herman for pointing this out.) In the new show, you have to wonder how they could get a large truck full of modern-day equipment (the equivalent to the "Matzo Cable TV" van of an earlier show) into this exclusive residential neighborhood and close to the gambling den without attracting attention.
This episode was an improvement over the previous week's (it could hardly be worse), likely because the script was by the main trio of "rebooters": Lenkov, Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Scott Caan suffered a knee injury in mid-August, which was written into the script. At the beginning he is shown at the doctor's office, and when the doctor tries to be sympathetic, Danno goes into a rant about his new job. Meanwhile, McGarrett has to contend with his sister Mary (Taryn Manning) who arrives from Los Angeles and gets arrested for tampering with the plane's washroom smoke detector. I liked McGarrett's sister, who I was prepared to dislike because of what I had read both about the character from the pilot script and comments Manning had made about her role earlier ("I don't have anything to live up to as far as the character I am portraying." [!!!]) , though there is a serious physical discrepancy between the two characters. Do they both have the same mother?
The off-the-wall bad guy in this episode, Walton Dawkins (Balthazar Getty, in a scenery-chewing performance) is very bad. He is a convict who escapes after taking a guard hostage at the Halawa Correctional Facility and shoots to kill without hesitation. He wants to hook up with Craig Ellers, who he knows as Paul Stark. The two of them committed a $5 million robbery back on the mainland several years before, and Dawkins got screwed out of his share. Dawkins recognizes Stark on a TV game show, where he "just happens to be" the boyfriend of Dana, a woman who wins a million dollars and a trip to Hawaii.
This is far-fetched, but not as much as the way Dawkins escapes from Halawa. He Crazy Glues a guard's mouth shut, has the guard hold a gun via some kind of a splint attached to his arm and dresses the guard in a prison orange jumpsuit, then makes the guard try to escape from the main gate where he is mowed down by a SWAT team, who think he is Dawkins. Where is the motivation for the guard to do all this? Dawkins is not seen standing behind the guard pointing a gun at the his head, for example. Instead, dressed in the guard's uniform, Dawkins escapes easily while all the fuss is going on in some prison maintenance guy's car that he steals.
Following this, McGarrett and Danno go to Halawa and visit Dawkins' former convict neighbor for four and a half years (played by comedian D.L. Hughley). This scene is totally ridiculous. First McGarrett and Danno are in a yard with a large group of hardened convicts without any qualms at all (recall the kind of intense pressure Jack Lord's McGarrett was under in the first season show The Box). Then they grill the double-lifer with questions which any self-respecting convict would not answer in private, let alone in front of his fellow cellmates. It is especially ridiculous, considering McGarrett earlier threatened a guard involved in Dawkins' escape with putting him into the general population! McGarrett also engages in an equally stupid "let's make a deal" game of one-on-one basketball with Hughley's character, who thinks that "White Cops Can't Jump."
Dawkins makes his way to the hotel room where Stark and his girl friend Dana are staying. After shooting Dana and leaving her for dead, he forces Stark to drive to a bank and wire $5 million to himself. There are real serious problems with this scenario. For one thing, Stark doesn't live in Hawaii, therefore he would have to present major identification for such a large transaction. Second, there is the time difference between Switzerland and Hawaii, which is 12 hours. And third, what bank would have $5 million in cash available to give Stark? Banks have to pre-order their funds for the day and would not be prepared for such a huge amount in advance.
Despite these non-existent obstacles, Stark gets the money, Dawkins takes it, shoots Stark, steals a bank employee's car, then swaps that car for his girl friend's, drives to some helicopter sightseeing company, and forces the pilot to fly him and a family of hostages to Molokai, even though the helicopter is almost out of gas. Thanks to assistance from McGarrett's naval girl friend Catherine stationed in the Persian Gulf (Michelle Borth), who uses high-tech resources to track Dawkins' car, McGarrett and Chin are hot on Dawkins' trail.
The ensuing jungle action on "Molokai" (which was filmed on Oahu) is not bad, though the big climax when McGarrett finally shoots Dawkins, who slides down an embankment, is kind of disappointing.
Once again there are the usual annoying tourist shots of people surfing and so forth (all young people, I might add), and the music is mundane. The Bourne-type background music is heard when McGarrett and Danno are interviewing Dawkins' girl friend and also at the end when McGarrett and Chin are following Dawkins and his hostages. When McGarrett is talking to his sister, there is some guitar music (perhaps this is the new show's version of the "memories" theme?) and at the end some goopy vocal music over string-like sounds reminiscent of movies like Gladiator.
Overall, this episode had forward momentum and some nice scenes where McGarrett showed signs of unwinding with his sister and relating to Dana, the nearly-killed contest winner. But the dumb moments (the prison break, grilling of the convict and wiring of the money) again place it squarely in later-season classic Five-O territory. I really need quarter-stars for these reviews...
- Note the name of the bad guy in this episode: Walton Dawkins ... very similar to Walton Goggins, who played intense characters in Justified and The Shield. One of his fellow cops in the latter was played by Alex O'Loughlin.
- Danno quotes... To the doctor: "This guy [McGarrett] is like a physical injury." To McGarrett: "Why do you have 'aneuryism face'?" Also to McGarrett; "[You] seem more like a 'napalm in the morning' kind of guy." Hughley's character describes McGarrett as "tall, dark and uptight." When McGarrett and Danno start squabbling, he says, "How long you two been married?"
- McGarrett is again clever in this show. He knows that nutmeg, found in Dawkins' cell, contains a psychoactive substance which could explain why Dawkins passed or freaked out, prior to him taking the guard hostage. When he and Chin are pursuing Dawkins and his hostages on Molokai later and a bunch of birds fly up, McGarrett says "Birds fly away from danger, away from predators." But Chin Ho is also smart. He pulls a bottle of mayonnaise out of a park washroom where Dawkins fled after leaving the prison, saying "Lemonade mixed with mayo -- an old prison trick for dyeing hair." Later during the pursuit of Dawkins, Chin tells McGarrett, "Molokai's rainforest has pathogenic microbes in the water that'll put a man down in an hour." Puh-lease!
- McGarrett gets some HPD cop to babysit his sister in the Five-0 office for five hours. Hopefully the Honolulu taxpayers won't get wind of this.
- An EMS ambulance is seen transporting the badly wounded Dana to hospital.
- McGarrett barks orders: "I need everything on Dana: travel itineraries, flights, car rental." "I want thorough backgrounds on Dawkins, Craig and Dana ... freeze their accounts."
- Dawkins uses his girl friend's car which is a 2010 silver Chevy Malibu with a "vehicle recovery system." Was there ever such a blatant product placement in the old show?
- McGarrett drives to the cemetery at the end of the show in a large black Chevrolet truck with license number G8V 349.
- If McGarrett's sister missed their father's funeral, how does she know where his grave is? The tombstone has the dates March 15, 1942-September 20, 2010 (the date of the show's premiere!) plus some other mysterious number -- Y3531 -- in its right-hand corner.
- Arriving at a crime scene, Chin Ho tells the HPD cop, "We'll take it from here." At some point, this kind of "get-lost" attitude is going to bite them in the ass!
Considering the fifth episode of the original series was its first four-star episode, I was hoping this would also be a watershed show. Alas, not.
If this show was getting a rating for production values alone, I would give it high marks. The nighttime photography, as well as the set design and color scheme for the interior of the nightclub, for example, were well above average, reminiscent of the beginning of The Singapore File. On the other hand, the clichéd scenes of Hawaii were again annoying. Doesn't anyone in Hawaii do anything other than surf?
At the other extreme (negative) was the introduction of the coroner, Max Bergmann, the modern day version of "Doc." Played by former Heroes star Masi Oka, this character was just plain stupid. It's impossible to comprehend how this guy could deal with anyone, alive or dead, let alone get such a prominent position working for the City of Honolulu. Everything about this "tactile thinker" was gimmicky, especially having him play the piano (in the morgue!) to unwind. I couldn't understand anything he said at the beginning. Even McGarrett and Danno were at a loss for words. Terrible! This is Five-0, not Twin Peaks.
The dialogue throughout was banal. The Governor had little to say, instead being emotionally overwrought to the extreme. (She could hardly look at McGarrett and Danno when she met them at the morgue.) Whether this was because her friends, the Philippine ambassador Reeves and his wife, were put through the wringer over the kidnapping of their two daughters and murder of one, or because of other mysterious issues (to McGarrett: "I made a promise to a friend [his father?] and you let me keep it [huh?]") is difficult to say. Her asking Five-0 to get involved with the case in the first place was very reminiscent of seasons ten to twelve in the old show, where McGarrett and Five-O were often asked by the Governor to deal with the issues of rich folks who were his friends.
Carlos Begoyal, the bad guy in this show, a Filipino revolutionary leader responsible for abducting the ambassador's daughters, was super boring. At least the writers bothered to read up on radical movements in the Philippines ("an unstable region of the world") to give a slight semblance of reality to the leader and his followers' demands. In the old show, these guys would have been from some bogus country. The kung fu-fightin' match between McGarrett and Begoyal, who looked like he would be out of breath after running 10 feet, was silly.
McGarrett's girl friend's appearance was largely a waste of time, except to help out with some high-tech naval surveillance equpiment as in the previous show. It's amazing how all-knowing the Navy's equipment is, as well as the Five-0 custom-made computer system with its Minority Report-like touch screen and how both of these computers can find just about anything within a few seconds.
There is definitely something afoot with McGarrett's sister, though, as far as the contents of the mysterious toolbox belonging to their father is concerned. We got a closer look at the letter with the cryptic stick men on it as well as some stamps from Japan. A brief moment of interest amid the dross.
This business with McGarrett torturing the doped-up suspect in the kidnapping with an airhorn while grilling him really put me off. If I didn't have a certain interest in this show, at that point, I would have walked over to the TV and turned it off on this show for good.
This was just plain nasty ... and it took place in what looked like a cell in the basement of the Five-0 office. What is even more disturbing is that Danno, who was acting as a conscience to McGarrett for a while, querying why he would do things his way, now doesn't seem to care (drinking beer with McGarrett on the boat while the pizza guy flails in the shark cage, and now letting McGarrett blast an air horn into the guy's face).
By the end, I figured out what this show is starting to remind me of.
It's like you go to a restaurant regularly for years where the food is great. Then suddenly the restaurant is taken over by new management. The way they prepare the food is a bit different, but nothing to discourage you from coming back.
But then some evening when you are having a meal, something very small happens, just enough to change your mind. Maybe the food tastes just a bit off, or the waitress makes some comment that doesn't strike you the right way.
That's what the bit with the airhorn did for me.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention -- the music was crap once again. .
- Nod to the old show: Chin and McGarrett tail the bad guy far too closely. (Also notice the shot of the Kuhio Street intersection they approach while following the van containing Kono was used twice -- thanks to Curator for pointing this out.) Nod to the new show: Kono is again put in serious danger by going undercover.
- New cars ... no dirt on them.
- What are the chances the Philippine ambassador would have "access to [a] classified server" -- wouldn't some minions under him be responsible for dealing with this? Of course he is a computer whiz just like Chin Ho and McGarrett's girl friend.
- Yet another story with a twist in the plot, as it turns out the ambassador's daughters were not kidnapped to be part of a prostitution ring.
- There are lots of 555 phone numbers on the cel phone account that Chin Ho tracks down.
- Why does the submarine tour guide describe the drowned daughter at the beginning of the show as a "victim"? Were people alerted earlier to the fact that she was missing? How would he know who she was?
Finally, a good show, where the hyperactive photography was not too distracting and the yellowish tinge was not in evidence (at least when I viewed the show in high resolution ... a 480p version, on the other hand, did not look so great). The beginning was sneaky, starting with the usual stereotypical surfing shots, but then, amazingly, the following action actually took place at a surfing contest, where what's going on was a major part of the story. This show had several connections (probably unintentional) to episodes from the old series -- among them Tall on the Wave (also about a surfing contest), The Banzai Pipeline (where a guy gets knocked off while surfing) and Strangers in Our Own Land (dealing with issues of Hawaiian nationalism -- though there were several other old shows which touched on this as well). Just like in Tall on the Wave, the music accompanying the surfing was crappy, but appropriate -- for a few minutes, anyway. At least we didn't have to endure the sight of Danno in a tank top and wearing bell-bottom trousers. This was Kono's show. Not only did Grace Park emote well, but she looked gorgeous. Ian Adams (Mark Cunningham, an internationally well-known surfer in real life), the guy who gets shot at the beginning, was Kono's old surfing instructor, though more recently he had turned into an evil entrepreneur intent on raping the earth. Kono's old boyfriend, Ben Bass (Joshua Dallas), the son of Adams' partner Carlton Bass (ex-Hercules Kevin Sorbo), turned into a major suspect, especially since he had a very large gun as well as other motives. This caused Kono a lot of turmoil, so much so that she got told by Danno that she had "constipation face." In another one of those don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it resolutions, it turned out that (a) Carlton Bass's driver, Randall Barrett (Walter S. Gaines) was responsible for Adams getting shot, even though there is no suggestion that he would be specially qualified to hit his target from a tremendous distance away on top of a hill behind the contest and (b) Ben Bass, who was totally estranged from his father Carlton, was actually the son of Adams, who was going to change his will so Ben would become his sole beneficiary. This was the most "Hawaiian" show yet, aside from the surfing contest at the beginning. There was also the tent city where Ben lived with a lot of other people, many of whom were not poor, the final farewell to Adams by his surfing colleagues, and the interaction with the kapu boss Ka Wika (Kala Alexander) and two former kapu thugs, Diego Stone (George Allen Gumapac) and Levi Park (Tanoai Reed). Danno's banter with McGarrett semmed relatively restrained compared with previous shows. One thing that continued to bug me -- the dialogue was still incomprehensible at times, especially on the lowest-fi version I was watching (the high resolution/Dolby Digital one was much better). I still don't know what exact words Chin Ho was using when he described Adams' job near the beginning of the show.
- Once again McGarrett is seen barking orders in an impersonal manner at some HPD officer. Can't he even address these cops by their name? And tech whiz Chin Ho again demonstrates his ability to analyze "relevant information," including personal e-mail from Adams' computer screen, in a matter of seconds. As well, do both McGarrett and Chin regularly check the "Surf Report" every morning? This information comes in handy to help determine the trajectory of the bullet which killed Adams. (A puh-leeze moment.)
- Music like in "Lost" is heard again when Danno is talking to Kono in the office and also when Kono is hanging out with Ben. The underscore for the scene where Barrett is cornered on a downtown Honolulu street and arrested was totally unnecessary. Note in the background of this scene people are walking around, oblivious to what is a very serious takedown situation.
- Is that a real rainbow, or a digital rainbow?
- Danno can call the parole officer for Stone and Park and get a response within mere seconds. Is this person's phone number something he would know?
- Finally, Five-0's Camaro gets real dirty. If this keeps up, the Governor will be pissed because of all the car wash bills.
- Far be it from me to understand these things, but I don't understand why of the native Hawaiian characters, Reed is in the main credits at the beginning of the show, while Gumapac is relegated to the closing credits (as is Alexander) which whiz by so quickly you can hardly read them. Gumapac has equal screen time to Reed and Alexander's part is not insignificant either.
- It looks like Kono drives a bicycle to and from work -- cool!
One of the guest stars (of several) in this episode was Robert Loggia, who appeared in the original show's eleventh season episode The Execution File. There he played an ex-cop with a troubled past on a crusade to rescue young girls from prostitution and knock off their pimps. Loggia was not the first star from the old series to appear in the new one, however. That honor went to Helen Kuoha-Torco, who appeared as the dancer in the main titles of all 278 episodes. Her face was seen only in the pilot episode, Cocoon. In the new show, she appeared as the mother who took Danno's daughter into the washroom in the third show, Malama Ka Aina, while he engaged in a shootout on the football field with gang members. In this show, Loggia plays Ed McKay, a grizzled veteran who shows tourists around the U.S.S. Missouri. At the beginning of the show, I thought Loggia's character didn't seem particularly enthusiastic about his job as tour guide, but then I figured he is old and probably has to do the same speech every day. Some of the tourists he is escorting end up as hostages taken by Navy SEAL (just like McGarrett!) Graham Wilson (Adam Beach), who shortly before found his wife murdered at his house nearby, escaped to the battleship and is being sought by the police as a suspect. (Among this group is Louis Lombardi, well-known for playing computer geek Edgar on "24," who died a horrible death by poison gas in that show. His character, identified only as "Buddy," ends up getting bashed in the head by Wilson.) McKay manages to elude Wilson, and after McGarrett makes his way to the ship, swimming underwater and climbing up the side, McKay runs into McGarrett and helps him find his way around. It's cute the way that McKay, who knows all the ins and outs of the ship, keeps tagging along with McGarrett as a sidekick and popping up unexpectedly, sort of like some troll in a Wagnerian opera. He provides the episode's big LOL moment when McGarrett lets him come along to find Wilson, but McGarrett says that if he tells McKay to jump, he wants him to jump. McKay responds by saluting, saying "Yes, sir!" Beach gives a very good performance as the twitchy Wilson, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, as does Loggia. And the scenes on the Missouri are filmed creatively and effectively. Unfortunately, the show is totally sabotaged by the musical underscore, which is even worse than normal. In fact, I think there are only about 40 seconds of the show with no music at all (the scene just before Danno finds Wilson's wife's Russian diary at Wilson's house). The music got so distracting at times that I couldn't even concentrate on the show. Terrible, terrible, terrible. As well, the herky-jerky swooping camera is more in evidence than normal, along with the unrealistically colored photography of Honolulu from the air, and there is more incomprehensible dialogue (unless you are listening in Dolby Digital 5.1, where it is easier to understand).
- Another Eastern European bad guy (Russian). Another drawer which contains something with Russian writing which provides major clues. Another private airplane used by bad guys. Kono hangs out with a major character's kid again (and something goes wrong). And Catherine (presumably McGarrett's girl friend, identified as being in "naval intelligence") provides help off-screen translating the Russian diary.
- McGarrett has another "boss" in this show, Laura Hills (Kelly Hu), who is the Governor's Public Safety Liaison. (What's happened to Jean Smart? Is she too busy to fly to Hawaii?) Hills seems to have some kind of über-power over and above HPD, and her primary concern is "getting the hostages off the ship." Late in the show, Wilson ends up talking to her, ranting about his demands (how he gets through to her in such a direct fashion is a mystery). Hu plays the part of the tight-assed bureaucrat to perfection, and is very hot to boot. Hopefully we can have a major bitch-fest with her and Kono in a future episode, or, preferably, a kick-ass fight.
- In my original comments on this episode, I pointed out that the topography of the street (Cowpens Street, and its extension Saratoga Boulevard) near the USS Missouri seen during the show's teaser was totally wrong, based on a look at Google Maps, where the surrounding area was a bunch of vacant lots with no houses. John from Honolulu writes: "Actually there now are houses that close to the pier (see photo). They're the newest military housing on Ford Island. As they were built within the last year or so, and as the military apparently does not allow Google Maps/Earth to update as regularly over military bases as often as they did previously, you would only see empty land. I have lived on O'ahu for 6 years now, and even in our neighborhood (new housing built within the last 3 years), Google maps and Google earth show what was here nearly four years ago: empty land with no houses."
- John points out that it is unlikely the Honolulu police would be dealing with the disturbance seen at the beginning of the show. The police that would realistically answer the call are the Pearl Harbor Navy Police, as Ford Island is a closed base. He says what was supposed to be the "Makalapa Health Clinic" in the episode was actually the Navy Lodge, also on Ford Island; they just changed the sign. A reverse angle of the same building was used for the "Child Protective Services" building, again with a false sign. He adds: "One of the false signs doesn't completely cover the white background of the 'Navy Lodge' sign underneath it. I'm pretty sure one reason they chose Ford Island for shooting is because the Navy buildings there are much more attractive than the very industrial feeling one gets from the Pearl Harbor buildings. The actual Makalapa clinic is not visually appealing at all." As well (and he says this is a minor quibble), a Navy doctor would not refer to Navy Police as "Military Police"; they're called "M.A.s" by everyone (short for "Master-at-Arms", the Navy term for MP). Thanks, John!
- On the Missouri, when McGarrett finally gets close to Wilson and his hostages, it looks as if he can actually see what is going on. But McKay and he are whispering very loudly! When McGarrett finally reveals who he is to Wilson, he says he is "Five-0." Is this something that everyone in Hawaii would know by this point? Later on, when McGarrett lobs a smoke grenade into a room where the hostages are being held, how does he know that Wilson is not in the room (he is not, and McKay suddenly appears at the door, telling everyone to get the hell out of the room ASAP).
- The scene where Kono loses Wilson's daughter to her biological father, Yegor Chubais [sic] (Massimo Galluzzo) also doesn't make sense topographically. She follows Chubais, but the kid runs off in the opposite direction where she is grabbed by Chubais' henchmen and Kono turns to see this happening. But where does Chubais go? Does he vanish into thin air? He is seen walking in the other direction -- he doesn't get in the truck with his kidnapped daughter. I asked John from Honolulu about whether the Russian Chubais would have been allowed to come on to Ford Island where he murders his ex-wife. He replied: "The secure boundary for Ford Island extends to before you even cross the long bridge [the one where Danno and McGarrett are driving near the end of the pilot episode]. There is no way the guy would've been let on the bridge, let alone be allowed to walk around the housing area. Tourists that want to get on Ford Island need to be onboard a tour bus with a tour group, they can't just wander off by themselves; it's still a fully-functioning Naval base and there are security concerns."
- A woman friend of mine said that while it is possible that some female tourist would have a sewing kit with them in their purse, since these are usually provided in hotels, it is very unlikely that they would have "nail glue." McGarrett is seen putting Buddy's scalp back together with what looks like a tube of super glue (second use of a substance like this in the series so far).
- This show featured a tribute to James MacArthur, the original Danno, who passed away on October 28, a few days before the broadcast:
An above-average show, mostly because of Scott Caan's performance as Danno where he deals with the death of his former partner Mekka Hanamoa who is found with his badge stuffed in his mouth, roasting in a luau. There were a couple of really dumb things about the show, though. One was the obligatory "extreme interrogation technique." This time McGarrett and Danno tie Bastille, a doped-out art dealer (played by Bronson Pinchot) to the hood of Danno's Camaro and drive him around Honolulu at high speeds to loosen his tongue regarding a lead connected to the case. This was stupid. Do the police and people seeing this just look the other way and say, "Oh, it's just Five-0"? It would make more sense to do this on one of the middle-of-nowhere roads (like on Mount Tantalus), with the car screeching around corners and almost flinging the guy off the hood over cliffs, etc., but that would be kind of boring in the middle of the night, I guess. The other dumb thing had to do with Sang Min (Will Yun Lee), the people smuggler from the pilot episode. This guy, now in Halawa Correctional Institute for a very, very long time, did not crack after being earlier grilled for 72 hours and being offered plea bargains according to Danno, so why should he rat out the mole in HPD, even after Danno's heart-felt plea that his former partner's wife and son will be forced into poverty because they won't be getting the suspected-of-corruption Mekka's pension? This is the second time a hardened criminal co-operates with the cops, and I feel like yelling to the writers in a Danno/Scott Caan voice: "THIS IS NOT THE WAY THINGS ARE DONE!" Come on, guys. Crooks who are in jail for very serious crimes do NOT CO-OPERATE WITH COPS. Doing so will totally stigmatize them with their fellow inmates, and probably get them killed -- HELLO! Even Sang Min getting an offer of Danno chauffeuring him to the beach where he can view his wife and son playing isn't going to sway him. When this happens, he tells Danno with a tear in his eye, "I've caused my wife and son enough pain." Oprah indeed! The "H" word gets overused in this episode. First, when Mekka's wife comes to Danno for help and she tells him that her husband said he was "the best person he ever had" as a partner, Danno replies, "For a haole." Then Detective Kaleo (Jason Scott Lee) gives Danno a bunch of mouth when he and McGarrett start to stir up trouble in the HPD detectives' room, saying "You got issues, haole? Take it up with Internal Affairs." At the end, when cornered as the reason Danno's partner got killed, Kaleo tells Danno, "Get out of my face, haole." I wonder how HPD feels about this portrayal of one of their members with a huge chip on his shoulder speaking in such an "unprofessional" manner? The photography for the show was better than average, despite the yellow tinge at the golf driving range. The process shots when Danno and McGarrett are driving are becoming more laughable, especially when the driver (Danno in this case) takes his eyes off the road again for far too long. I was really surprised the first time I watched this show because I wasn't bothered as much by the music as normal. Maybe because it was eminently forgettable? (I did notice it more the second time, though.)
- McGarrett is too smart: he knows about the Ochoa gang's involvement in drugs in Mexico and knows that Singapore is "the new Switzerland" as far as banking is concerned. Chin Ho is pretty smart in Bastille's art gallery where he recognizes work by Clifton Bowles, one of the "artists" there. When Kono doesn't believe him, he tells her to look up the guy with Microsoft Bing. TOTALLY BLATANT PRODUCT PLACEMENT! (Microsoft is mentioned in the end credits.)
- Aren't there any other informers with their ear to the "coconut wireless" in Honolulu other than Kamekona? Maybe there is one called "Fujiwara," for example?
- The Parents Television Council will not like this show, even though it is on at 10 p.m. McGarret says to Danno "I'm gonna ask you something, I know it's gonna piss you off," and later says to Danno, "I know you're pissed."
- The license number on Danno's car is DV2 399.
- LOL moments: Danno telling McGarrett he has "a face"; Chin Ho and Kono looking at the ceiling during one of Danno and McGarrett's squabbles over the expression "where there's smoke, there's fire."
The writing in this show was very bad, highly reminiscent of some of the all-time turkeys in the old series like Dear Enemy, Let Death Do Us Part and When Does A War End?
The teaser began promisingly with a gorgeous woman (Emmanuelle Vaugier) seducing David Atwater (Matt Corboy), who is having a drink at a hotel bar by himself. Atwater is a diplomatic service agent assigned to the advance team for General Pak, an evil dictator from "Sandimar" coming to an aid conference of world leaders in Honolulu. The woman is Erica Raines, an assassin who formerly worked for the CIA but since has gone "rogue." I guess Atwater is either really lonely or really stupid or really horny (though Raines does slip something -- which the clever McGarrett later diagnoses as an aphrodisiac -- into his drink when he "just conveniently" turns away to look at the ocean view). Atwater was obviously never taught at diplomatic service agent school that someone might try and compromise him in such a manner. As soon as I saw Raines making him take her back to his hotel room, I thought, "Every move they make will be recorded by the security cameras in the hotel hallways, elevator, etc." ... which they are! But Raines positions herself in such a way that she is never seen full-frontal. BUT ... Chin Ho is later able to take side views of her and reconstruct her face anyway. So I guess she's not so smart after all. Anyway, Raines garrotes Atwater because he was gonna spill the beans about an assassination plot on General Pak (which he was connected with and wanted to "come clean" about).
After the opening credits, Five-0 is on the scene and once again, the Governor ain't there. Maybe she had to go and dedicate a shopping center or open up an extension for the freeway or something. Her place is taken again by her assistant Laura Hills (Kelly Hu). As before, Hu is very read-the-phone-book attractive, but I wish the hairdressers would have kept the pony tail look from the USS Missouri episode, which was much hotter. In addition to Hills, there is Tom Matthews (Michael Adamshick) a security big shot from the conference who has been assigned to the General's advance team. Danno, who obviously forgot to take his Midol, starts asking questions about how Matthews found out about Atwater's death, but Matthews tells Danno to shut the f**k up and not tell him how to do his job. Danno's reaction (he shuts the f**k up) is very surprising considering what comes shortly after.
We are then introduced to Nick Taylor (Max Martini), who was hired after "last night's security breach" to "beef up [the General's] security team" (very quickly, it seems). Taylor is none other than a Navy SEAL buddy of McGarrett's who served under him for three years in Afghanistan and is now a security consultant in the private sector. The two of them give each other the secret SEAL handshake, knocking their knuckles together and yukking it up. However, Danno, who has progressed from slight cramping to a full blown sand-in-your-vagina type yeast infection starts to give Taylor (who he later describes as a "cheeseball") a bunch of mouth in the usual fashion reserved for McGarrett, ridiculing the Navy SEAL lingo that Taylor and McGarrett are using and referring to Taylor as an "animal" (as opposed to a "cop" like Danno), suggesting that Taylor is sleazy for getting involved with the General who has a history of "ethnic cleansing." This whole exchange verged on embarrassing. All McGarrett can say later is, "Are you jealous?" The normal reaction from someone in this case would be to take Danno aside and tell him to shut the f**k up (again) and/or punch him in the mouth.
Five-0's assignment from Hills (if they choose to accept it, which of course they do) is to "find Atwater's killer and protect General Pak and his family when they arrive."
The obligatory driving scene with McGarrett and Danno follows, with the two of them arguing in a pointless way over a postcard of New Jersey which Danno keeps in the visor of his car. Again, the projected backgrounds are bad. They are highly reminiscent of those in one episode of O'Loughlin's show Moonlight which I saw, where (I think) they were done in a purposely phony way designed to suggest a film noir kind of ambience.
In the Five-0 office, Chin Ho comes up with his magically reconstructed picture of Raines, which McGarrett wants circulated to "HPD, NCIC, FBI, Interpol and airport and marine security." The usual red herrings follow when they track down Raines to a house where she murdered the owner and stuffed her in a freezer. "Awww" moment number one: the woman's daughter phones her mother from the airport saying she has just returned to Hawaii. (Note the TAS 3000 answering machine, a vintage piece of electronics made by Sanyo.) Then Five-0 gets a lead on Nae Shan (Nelson Lee), a former member of General Pak's army who has been seen at demonstrations and is a known troublemaker. "Awww" moment number two: After his capture, and in front of his extended family in his home, Shan tells McGarrett and Kono, almost bringing the latter to tears, how the "monster" General Pak made life a living hell for him and his relatives.
Having identified Raines from some top-secret CIA information which only Taylor can access (since he also worked for the military arm of CIA -- convenient!), Five-0 track her down to the Aloha Tower area where a gun battle ensues amidst scattering tourists. A sad moment follows when Raines gets run over by a "Waikiki Mover" bus (a bogus company, I think) -- what a sneaky way to introduce more "local color." The topography of this scene is screwy, though. Raines turns around to shoot at Five-0, and seems to get hit on her right side ... but when you see her standing in the street, there is no bus behind her. After she gets hit, isn't there a driver in the bus? You would expect this guy to come out and look at the woman, even though there are Five-0 cops approaching, wearing bulletproof vests and carrying guns. (Note to producers: PLEASE, PLEASE bring Emmanuelle Vaugier back ... like maybe her evil assassin twin sister. (See original series episode #130, A Bullet for El Diablo for some ideas.) I promise I will not say anything, no matter how ludicrous the explanation for her reappearance is.)
General Pak finally arrives at Hickam Air Force Base with his wife and young son. The General is played Ric Young -- who appeared in the original series under the name of Eric Young as a travel agent in Nine Dragons (thanks to Ed from Honolulu for pointing this out). McGarrett doesn't even bother to say hello to him, a marked contrast from Leopard on the Rock, a show from the earlier series where an equally evil dictator arrived in Hawaii and engaged in some lively verbal sparring with McGarrett. I totally don't understand why Pak arrives on this massive USAF plane (he and his family are seemingly the only passengers, unless they are just hitching a ride with a bunch of freight). Wouldn't it make more sense if they arrived on Sandimar Air Lines?
After the entourage with Five-0, Taylor and his men and Pak and his family drive away from Hickam, Kono is suddenly alerted via a phone call that Raines was in contact with Taylor, meaning, in four words or less, something is very fishy. McGarrett commandeers the car he is in (which contains the General and family). Taylor pushes a button on some fancy smartphone app which causes the first car in the procession to blow up in spectacular fashion. But what is the point of this? There is no one of any importance in this SUV! A terrific firefight follows after which everyone escapes to McGarrett's house at 2727 Piikoi Street nearby. This leads to "Awww" moments number three and four. First, Chin Ho talks to the General's son about how he (Chin) is also scared and how brave the boy is. Then the General, who has said virtually nothing up to this point, tells everyone that he is seeking political asylum in the United States and is going to testify against the military junta in his country and confess his sins to the world, blah blah blah. (That's why Atwater -- remember him? -- got knocked off, because he got word of the General's change of heart.)
This "Awww" moment is REALLY, REALLY STUPID and is why this episode gets only one and a half stars -- because the entire episode revolves around this one dumb concept. Just like hardened criminals do not co-operate with the cops (see episodes #4 and #8), evil dictators do not suddenly get all touchy-feely about all the people they have caused to be tortured, oppressed, raped and murdered! That is why they are called "evil dictators"! This episode would have been so much better if Pak had been the son of an evil dictator who recently succeeded his father and who had qualms about what his father had done (torturing, oppressing, raping, murdering). Then the angle of asking for political asylum would have made sense -- maybe.
McGarrett then phones HPD, and after an eternity, cops show up, but it is really Taylor and his security team who have been paid $5 million to knock off the General. It seems that Taylor cloned McGarrett's phone so that when McGarrett told HPD where the action was going down, Taylor knew exactly where to find everyone. Where Taylor and his team got the HPD cop cars from, who knows? By the time they arrive, it is night time, which allows McGarrett and Taylor to use their fancy night time goggles and also conveniently masks a lot of the action so it really doesn't matter what happens as long as Five-0 (and specifically McGarrett) win in the end -- which of course they do. Despite the fact that Taylor's team are supposedly professional sharpshooters, assassins, killers, etc., they can't knock off any of the people inside McGarrett's house, though they certainly make a mess of the place and destroy several priceless childhood photos hanging on the wall inside.
The show ends with "Awww" moment number 5: just before the General and his family jump on the large USAF plane again which will take them to the World Court or some such place, the General thanks McGarrett. The ending with McGarrett and Danno has a Streets of San Francisco suckiness. Terrible!
The music was unusually bad in this episode, having improved somewhat the week before. On the other hand, the photography was pretty good -- the colors for some of the aerial Honolulu vistas looked almost normal. It's a tradeup between the these two things from week to week, it seems.
- An article on a US Air Force WWW site discusses the scenes where General Pak arrives on the huge C-17 transport plane, quoting a USAF Colonel: "Day and night, the C-17 delivers personnel and supplies in support of humanitarian, peace keeping and wartime contingencies to every land mass on the globe. What a fitting weapon system to feature on an internationally watched TV show." That said, you have to wonder why this huge plane would be used to ferry General Pak and his family to Hawaii, since he doesn't seem to fall under any of the above categories. There is no implication that Pak is someone who is friendly to the United States (like Ferdinand Marcos was), though his mere presence at the aid summit, which Laura Hills suggests is critical to its success, makes you wonder -- obviously he is not a total pariah like Fidel Castro would be.
- 2009 statistics for a Priority One call (an emergency call where there is a threat to life or property) taken from HPD's own WWW site: Initial to Dispatch -- 1.63 minutes; Dispatch to Scene -- 5.96 minutes.
- Kudos to the production team for making the signs of the demonstrators against General Pak not all look like they were made with the same handwriting and materials.
- Raines drives a "battered Ford Taurus" to the hotel where she murders Atwater, obviously a dig at the former show's default car.
- The editing in the scene where McGarrett and Kono arrive at Nae Shan's apartment was bad. They pull up beside some single-story building which has a yellow wall and an orange front, but the camera then focuses on another place which has a second story (which is presumably the place to the left of where they pull in). The shot of the second story is taken from the left side of the building, rather than the right (where McGarrett is standing). Ditto for a shot at the Aloha Tower where McGarrett suddenly starts running from a dead stop to chase Raines. Why not just pick him up in the middle of his pursuit, like when he went after the guy at the International Marketplace in an earlier episode?
- When Five-0 pulls up to the Aloha Tower, they are driving in a large black SUV and also some van -- what is the van, the official Chin Ho Surveillance Vehicle®?
- When Taylor is talking to McGarrett on the phone at the end of the show during the siege, his voice has this "psycho-like" quality, totally unlike earlier. Maybe he is using a special phone with a "former friend/now psycho" filter on it.
- LOL moment: After capturing Nae Shan (thanks to some fancy footwork by Kono), McGarrett puts his gun into his chest holder. I thought for a moment his gun was Velcroed to his chest in some Transformer-like way.
After watching this episode, I figured out why Five-0 is the most DVRd show of all time. It's because no one can understand the first viewing, so they have to watch it again ... and again ... to figure out what the hell is going on. I had a big problem in this regard, especially at the beginning of this show. A bunch of crooks knock off a couple of armored car guards and steal their truck, and when Five-0 is on the scene after the main titles, McGarrett barks orders and Kono says something, neither of which I understood the first time around. The second time it was much clearer, and overall the show made more sense the second time, though there was one big fatal flaw, similar to that of the previous week's show about the evil dictator General Pak having a change of heart about all the people whose lives he had made miserable. But more about that later.
The armored car company is Aeko Kula (Golden Eagle) -- there is actually an air cargo company in Honolulu by this name. The crooks rappel down from a nearby building in white jumpsuits, hats and dust masks (though one wonders why this is necessary), looking just like a bunch of guys they have hired to be painters who are standing nearby to confuse witnesses. Five-0 has a fancy phone app which shows where the GPS-like device in the stolen money bags is located, which turns out to be the bottom of the harbor off Honolulu's Pier 20. Rather than wait for a crew of professional divers to help them (since we have only 42 minutes of airtime for the show), McGarrett and Kono go swimming to recover the money bags, though you would suspect that the truck is fairly far down at the bottom and it wouldn't be a simple task to open up the truck and find what is inside without SCUBA gear. At this point we get yet more obnoxious product placement for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, using an LG phone. Later at the office, Chin Ho spends time examining the innards of an airplane-like black box from the armored car which shows various external camera views taken during the car's route.
McGarrett and Danno go to the Hawaii Medical Center to talk to Jordan Townsend (Colin Egglesfield), the sole guard who survived the robbery. Danno, in the first of several "Awww" moments in this show, is very sympathetic to Townsend's pregnant wife Camille (Bijou Phillips), telling her "We're really sorry what happened to your husband." Considering Danno described the fresh-faced Jordan to McGarrett earlier as looking like he was "12 years old," it is surprising that Danno doesn't go off on a rant to the guy's wife about what a dumb move it was to take such a dangerous job.
Using facial recognition software, Kono figures out one of the jumpsuit-clad painters near the crime scene is Gordon Smith, played by rapper Nasir "Nas" Jones. But this is just a Five-0 red herring, since Smith was there because of an ad in "Gavinslist" (presumably Craigslist couldn't pay up enough for a corporate sponsorship plug). Kono also traces bullets used in the robbery to guns used in a Waikiki bank heist and links this to several similar bank heists on the mainland in Boulder, San Diego and Austin -- all cities that host a triathlon, just like the Kono Crater Classic Triathlon that Honolulu is holding the next day.
McGarrett and Danno return to the hospital to talk to Townsend again, but one of the clever crooks manages to sneak into his room as a doctor and mess him up, almost killing him. McGarrett is quick to spot the doctor, who heads up several floors in an elevator, then vanishes through the elevator's ceiling and shimmies up the elevator cable to -- where? I don't think so!
The IP address used for the Gavinslist ad is traced to a chiropractor's office, but when Five-0 arrives there, the doctor is found to be out of town for three weeks, and a bunch of blood used for doping is found in the doctor's fridge. Doping, according to the clever McGarrett, is a technique which "increases your red cel count, allowing your muscles to work harder for up to 12 hours" and is also used by Navy SEAL types -- this is all based in reality, by the way. When Kono describes this as "all-natural steroids," Danno says, "Yeah, for vampires" (likely a dig at O'Loughlin's previous show Moonlight, where he played a vampire detective).
A fingerprint on one of the blood bags leads McGarrett and Danno to Kai Rollins (Edwin H. Bravo) and the obligatory torture-while-interrogating-accompanied-by-mindless-banter scene follows with the twosome loading weights onto Rollins' barbells while he exercises outdoors. Rollins cracks and reveals the name of a woman, Sabrina Kai, who it turns out is one of the crooks participating in the triathlon the next day.
Up to this point, everything sort of makes sense. But the plot goes totally awry when it turns out this woman Sabrina, along with the other bad guys, lives next door ... TO DANNO'S EX-WIFE! Just think, there are over 900,000 people on Oahu, and these sophisticated criminals, who are the central focus of this episode, live where? How else could the writers have introduced the character of Danno's wife in the show, you ask? Well, their daughter could have been kidnapped (the possibility for this happening during a future show still exists), except in an upcoming episode McGarrett's sister (who has vanished off the face of the earth after a couple of brief appearances previously) is going to be kidnapped, so that plot device has already been taken.
Anyway, despite plenty of "Awww" moments between Danno and his ex-wife Rachel (Claire van der Boom, who does a good job despite a not-particularly-convincing backstory as to how she met Danno and little mention of her new spouse, who is conveniently out of town) things rapidly go downhill from this point as the triathlon super-athletes break into a diamond exchange during the race (shades of Ten Thousand Diamonds and a Heart, except in this episode, there is no one working there when the crooks are on the job) and are then captured by four different Five-0 methods.
The episode ends with more "Awww" moments, not only with Townsend (who recovers) and his wife, but between Danno and his daughter, who gives him a card which says "I love you Dano [sic]." And then there is the final shot as McGarrett and Danno leave Rachel's house, straight out of English 100, where the view of the place is in the mirror of the car, which says "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear."
- The back door of the armored car says "Vehicle is equipped with security devices such as the STF defense mechanism." WTF is STF?
- LOL moments: When McGarrett complains about substandard wood that Kamekona supplied him to fix his house which got all shot up in the last show, Kamekona says, "This stuff don't grow on trees." When he arrives at McGarrett's shortly after, Danno refers to Kamekona as "Baby Huey," a gigantic duck cartoon character from the 1950s. Later when Kono and Chin are following the bad guys who are seemingly checking out a route connected with their heist, Kono asks her cousin, "Do you think they they know we're tailing them?" Perhaps a subconscious link to the old series, where this kind of thing happened all too often?
- Jordan Townsend's employee number on his identification tag is AKGND-1993522S. The armored car's license plate is L3Z 876.
- When McGarrett looks at the crooks next door through a telescope, the angle of the last view is from ground level, not up above in Rachel's bedroom.
- The spelling of Williams' name as "Dano" on the card his daughter gives him is controversial, because it should be "DaNNo." (I own a copy of the Nine Dragons script from the earlier show where it is spelled this way.) You might say his daughter is a young kid who doesn't know any better. But on the other hand, you might say that being the hyperactive, anal type of guy that he is, Danno would have insisted prior to this that she spell it correctly. "DaNo" is not pronounced "Danno," it is pronounced "Day-No," like the name of the actor Royal who co-stars in the episode Paniolo.
- When Danno is almost caught in the act of breaking into his wife's neighbors' home to find evidence, McGarrett suggests to Rachel they should create a diversion using "flammables in the garage" like kerosene or gasoline. I guess in the previous episode McGarrett's incendiary techniques turned out so well, he wants to try them again. Rachel instead runs her expensive car into the neighbors' gate, which allows Danno to escape and gives the two of them a few more nostalgic moments.
- In the old series, there was a similar show, Assault on the Palace (season nine, second show), where a bunch of crooks planned an elaborate robbery during a major event -- in that case, the King Kamehameha Day celebrations.
The first three-quarters of this episode is very good, especially the teaser, which takes place in "Kahana State Park" (actually known as Ahupua'a O Kahana State Park, correctly identified as being 26 miles from Honolulu). It features some local guys hunting boar (a flashback to "Lost"), has cool music including some indigenous chant-like sounds, and the photography looks totally natural.
Following this we get McGarrett and Chin Ho spear fishing, which leads to some "Awww" memories of McGarrett's father. Considering how serious McGarrett normally is, it is unnerving to see him cracking a big smile (similar to Jack Lord's McGarrett). And then we (finally) get some more clues as to what happened to McGarrett's family. Back at McGarrett's place, Chin Ho is shown several items in the Champion spark plug toolbox including postcards from Japan from deceased yakuza (Japanese Mafia) lieutenants, a key like a furniture key, and a case number -- M123750 -- which Chin recognizes as from the pre-computer days at HPD which he will check out.
Then it is back to work, with Five-0 summoned to the Hawaii Medical Center to deal with Erica Harris (Peyton List), a woman found by the boar hunters who has no recollection of being abducted from her Akahai Hotel honeymoon suite and whose husband Jake is missing. McGarrett shows his compassionate side listening to the woman's story. The woman's mother-in-law, Nancy Harris (Sheila Kelley), who has arrived from the mainland and is described by Erica as "toxic" (though not to the extent of some mothers/mother-in-laws on the old series) believes Erica is not a victim, but a golddigger, especially after Erica ran up over $100,000 of debt before meeting her son. As well, Danno is suspicious of Erica's "trauma-induced amnesia." After the first commercial break which follows, before the scene cuts back to the hospital, there are some totally unnecessary location shots with loud, crappy music. We already know we are in Hawaii (Hawaii Medical Center -- HELLO!).
Chin Ho and Kono investigate the couple's honeymoon suite which costs $5500 a night, Erica's husband Jake being a high-priced lawyer. The clever Chin Ho determines that someone pumped acetone gas into this room from the adjacent suite, knocking out both Erica and Jake, and shortly after, Kono discovers Jake in the adjacent suite, dead. While sleuthing, Chin and Kono engage in some family banter, including hints about Chin's soon-to-be-introduced former girl friend who didn't support him when he needed her most after he was suspected of corruption at HPD.
Meanwhile, McGarrett and Danno check out room #106 at the Pagoda Hotel which was called numerous times from Erica's cel phone. She has no memory of making these calls, claiming her husband borrowed the phone. After McGarrett kicks down the door, with Danno calling him a "Neanderthal animal," they snoop around the room, and then encounter Kurt Miller (Joel Tobeck), a private investigator from Jake's law firm who was tracking the pair at the request of Jake's mother. When Miller tells McGarrett to book him, McGarrett looks at Danno, who says "Do not say it!" But Miller suddenly starts to talk when he finds out Jake is dead, saying that in his opinion, Erica was not a golddigger. This scene in Miller's room was notable for the fact that for TWENTY-FIVE SECONDS, THERE WAS NO MUSIC! Following this, McGarrett gets to hug Erica when he tells her, under some palm trees with a peculiar yellow/reddish tinge, that her husband is dead. Obviously oblivious to the fact that he is Alex O'Loughlin, she tries to resist him.
McGarrett and Danno have the obligatory driving scene with the usual phony-looking process shots behind them. This time there is some "Awww" banter with Danno telling about the first time he had to relay bad news to a victim's family, and McGarrett recalling when he was told his mother was killed (on April 19, 1992) by a drunk driver. The scene ends with them having a dumb argument over McGarrett wanting to play the song "Sexy Eyes" on the car radio. Danno starts yelling to McGarrett, "I know that you have trained to endure torture ... songs this bad make stable people want to kill other people" -- something that could be said of much of the new Five-0's music from day one.
Chin and Kono visit Max Bergman (Masi Oka), the wacky Honolulu medical examiner as he is tuning his piano (continuing the torture theme, Kono says it "sounds like he's torturing a walrus"). Bergman's second appearance is considerably less wacky than his first, and he provides some major clues based on his involvement with an "online community" dealing with "unsolved homicides" that lead Five-0 to suspect a serial killer is on the loose.
After Erica's abandoned rental car is located, McGarrett and Danno figure out very quickly the location of the secret hideout in Kahana Park that was used by the killer when he abducted Erica. A vial of morphine in this hideout is traced to the medical officer on a cruise ship, and putting two and two together with Bergman's ideas, Five-0 figures that the killer targets honeymooning couples who are taking cruises in the South Seas. The all-purpose Five-0 supercomputer, using some photos taken by the P.I. Miller and run through facial recognition software, figures out that the killer is Bradford Matinsky, a systems analyst for an mainland engineering firm (i.e., computer geek) whose girl friend dumped him before they could get married, therefore he wants revenge on other women who just got hitched.
Matinsky is tracked down to a cruise ship just pulling into the dock in Kauai. McGarrett and Danno almost nab him, but he jumps off the ship into the harbor, perhaps having taken a course at the Victor Hesse School of Escaping Five-0. This point, about 30 minutes into the show, is where things start to get stupid. No one sees Matinsky jumping into the water, and later he is nowhere to be found. Rather than hide out, he tries to nab yet another honeymooning couple. Considering his belongings (clothes, suitcase, attaché case, etc.) were all on the cruise ship, where does he get things like a towel to dry off, not to mention all the paperwork connected with the people he was stalking via the Internet which were in his cabin? (If you think about it hard, there are other questions relating to Matinsky, such as how does he find secret hideouts like the one in Kahana Park where he kept Erica captive?)
The nerdy Matinsky knocks out another honeymooning husband and kidnaps his wife from their hotel, which leads to a fast and frantic chase with McGarrett following on a twisting road. On top of some high cliffs (actually the Pali on Oahu) where Matinsky holds the wife with a knife to her throat, McGarrett and Danno engage in ridiculous good cop/bad cop banter (Danno: "I've been trained for this sort of thing [negotiating]." McGarrett: "What, to bore people into submission?"). Matinsky gets shot and plunges to his death. Danno gets to hug the wife.
Back at the Five-0 office, McGarrett is again in his compassionate mode as he helps the mother-in-law reconcile with Erica. Then Chin Ho drops a bombshell: after checking out some information at HPD related to what was in the toolbox, he tells McGarrett that his mother was not the victim of an accident, but a homicide.
As usual, the music in this episode was up and down. There were a few moments where it was almost OK, but these were ruined by the annoying non-stop droning in the background most of the time.
- Erica's California Class C driver's license #18886607 expires 09-16-15. Her address is 3993 Callendar St., San Francisco 94122 (a bogus address). She has brown hair, blue eyes, is 5'7", 120 pounds, and her date of birth is 09-16-84. There are some other numbers near the bottom of the license: 06/30/2009 (possibly date of issue) and
663 26 FD/14.Her husband Jake's license expires 04-15-13. He lives at 4152 Hornblend St., San Francisco 94115. He has red hair, green eyes, is 5'11", 185 lbs., date of birth is 04-15-79. Numbers at the bottom are 05/01/2009 and 821 25 FD/64.Matinsky's Michigan license #78D2457 shows he lives at 4815 Merkle Avenue, Lansing, MI 48091-4343, his date of birth is 10-21-1974 with an additional number of DD 73564789387.
- Erica's cel phone record has numerous calls, all to the 808 area code (Hawaii). The PI Miller's phone number at the Pagoda Hotel was 808-555-0182 and was called five times. Other numbers called, all which start with 808-555, are 0109, 0129, 0137, 0139 , 0154 (twice), 0166, 0175, and 0187. At the top of the column of these phone numbers is the word "RECIEVER"! The time of the calls is identified by some peculiar code, which starts with the year but then has some number after it like 7634563.
- When McGarrett throws the P.I. Miller up against his hotel room wall, Miller's hair looks like it is tinted white in the middle at the front. But in subsequent shots, it looks normal.
- Is there a preponderance of bald cops on HPD? This episode has another one at the Medical Center.
- Why does McGarrett worry about Danno puking in his "loaner" police vehicle on "Kauai"? He is driving down the road at a very fast speed, often in the wrong lane where he is narrowly missing other vehicles while taking his eyes off the road and arguing with Danno!
- As Matinsky reaches the end of the road, he comes across a barricade with a "Road Closed" sign, both covered with graffiti. This barricade is facing the camera that is looking through it at Matinsky's approaching car. (See shots #1 and #2.) Why the barricade is in this position is difficult to understand, since it is unlikely that the road would be closed from both directions. After Matinsky takes his hostage out of the car, he passes by this barricade which has been turned around, now facing the front of his car. (See shot #3.) The graffiti on the barricade are exactly the same as in the shot from its "other side."
- At the end, in the shots of Matinsky and his hostage, there is no wall behind or near them or behind McGarrett and Danno when the two are viewed from the front. But if you look closely at the shot taken from far away where Matinsky falls off the cliff after he is shot by McGarrett, you will see a stone wall running along the top of the cliff. As well, McGarrett and Danno are nowhere to be seen in the long shot. According to the boss of the Hawaii 50 Undercover WWW site, this is because the shots of O'Loughlin and Caan were done in front of a green screen in a studio. I can believe this, considering the jump which "O'Loughlin" takes down to the edge of the cliff (seen from the actor's back). Despite O'Loughlin being a certified stunt man in Australia, there is no way the producers are going to put their boy in peril, with the possibility of him slipping off the cliff.
For sheer intensity, forward momentum and good acting, this was the best episode yet. However, there were lots of the usual "don't think about it too hard" moments.
This is the first episode where there is a teaser-like opening which the show later revisits (though not exactly with the same camera angles and dialogue). As well, there are two flashbacks to the pilot episode when bad guy Victor Hesse murdered McGarrett's father and when McGarrett shot Hesse at the climax of that show.
Of course, Hesse is still alive. The Process-like trail which leads to this discovery is interesting, and is marked by a relative absence of snappy/stupid McGarrett/Danno banter and shots of the two of them driving with projected backgrounds. Alas, the photography still has the usual weird tinge and the in-your-face music is mostly clichéd tracks.
Chin Ho ends up with a bomb activated by a mercury motion sensor around his neck after trying to go after Hesse on his own when the criminal mastermind flees McGarrett and hides out on a boat at the "Ala Moana Harbor." Why Chin took on this task on his own without waiting for major backup doesn't make any sense. Hesse escaped from McGarrett because, once again, Five-0 enlisted the services of Sang Min, the human trafficker from the pilot, to track Hesse down via an acquaintance, Kishimoto, "facilitiator for the Japanese underground in Honolulu." Rather than take Sang Min back to Halawa Correctional Facility after getting the information about Hesse's whereabouts, they take Sang Min along while they investigate some hostess bar where Hesse inexplicably hangs out. Hesse leaves the building quickly with McGarrett in pursuit and just happens to jump into Danno's car and is driven away by Sang Min who has removed the handcuffs holding him to the steering wheel via some pin-like metal object he has kept in his mouth all the time, jump-started the car and conveniently positioned it by the door where he knew Hesse was going to come out (puh-leeze!).
After strapping the bomb to Chin and dumping him near the Five-0 offices, Hesse contacts McGarrett via a cel phone in Chin's pocket, telling McGarrett that he wants the usual money ($10 million) and "safe passage off the island." But the Governor refuses to cough up the money, similar to the Governor in the original series "The Young Assassins," with the stock line "we don't negotiate with terrorists". McGarrett is desperate. But who just happens to know where there is $10 million lying around. Well, none other than Chin Ho himself (and his cousin Kono, who he told). There is $28 million lying around in an HPD "asset forfeiture locker" (not the normal such locker, mind you) which was connected to an old case of Chin's. After $200,000 of this money mysteriously disappeared years before, suspicion felt on Chin and was responsible for him leaving the force. In order to get into this locker, McGarrett has to get cover-your-ass blueprints for the building including which Chin was keeping under the floorboards in his house "to protect someone," hire a utilities truck, get utilities maintenance worker outfits and break into the locker via a tunnel underneath it which was constructed by the U.S. Army Engineers during World War II (puh-leeze again!).
With the money in hand, McGarrett goes to the middle of nowhere to meet Hesse, and Kono jumps out of the car before this meeting and positions herself on a nearby hill with a high-powered rifle which she uses to put Hesse out of commission. (But is Hesse so stupid that he wouldn't get his pal Sang Min to keep his eyes out from another nearby hill for such an eventuality? Come on!) The big confrontation between McGarrett and Hesse is hardly the kung fu fightin' match from the pilot, and Hesse takes the $10 million and throws it in a nearby fire, a move which is going to come back to bite McGarett on the ass big time later.
There are some nice "Awww" moments which follow with the Five-0 team celebrating Christmas and Danno playing Santa for his daughter Grace (a family tradition). This is nicely counterpointed with a not-so-merry-Christmas for Hesse, now in Halawa, where he has to answer to a visitor, Wo Fat. But isn't Wo Fat like "a known international criminal"? How could he get into the place without identifying himself? Hesse actually calls him by name -- again, as a guard is standing right behind Hesse!
- Chin Ho's Harley-Davidson motorcycle has the license number 784XJ.
- Danno's real Christmas tree, imported from the mainland, had to pass through the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture's Arbor Division. A WWW search through the HDOA WWW site suggests this is not a real branch (no pun intended). The sticker from this department on the tree's box has the number 2 2994024.
- McGarrett to the incarcerated Sang Min trying to persuade him to help Five-0 find Hesse: "How long do you think you're going to last in here when everyone finds out you're a rat?" HUH? Sang Min already was a "rat" once when he helped Five-0 convict Detective Kaleo (Jason Scott Lee) in episode number eight (an equally absurd plot development)! As well, there is a guard standing right behind Sang Min, and it's not unheard of for corrupt guards to drop bits of information about "rats" to other convicts if it is in their best interest.
- McGarrett is clever: he immediately recognizes the picture of the "floater" murdered by Hesse and found by Chin Ho at the beginning of the show as an arms dealer named Magallanes who had involvement in Afghanistan.
- According to executive producer Peter Lenkov, the shots of the cockfighting seen in the show were "stock footage."
- The cop who talks to McGarrett at the scene where Chin Ho is kneeling with the bomb device on his neck is Dennis Chun, son of the original Chin Ho, Kam Fong. His character name is Sergeant Duke Lukela, also a flashback to the earlier show. Hopefully he will get more screen time in future episodes!
- Kishimoto caves in almost immediately to McGarrett who starts making the usual "we will make your life a living hell" type of threats. What a wimpy villain!
- Some cool cel phone apps are shown: a Mobile GPS Tracking Protocol used to figure out where Danno's stolen car is, and another for Interpol IPO Forensics, used to confirm Hesse's fingerprint which is found at the "Ikalani Resort."
Finally -- a total kick-ass episode, with McGarrett taking on multiple villains, including the boss of the local yakuza, Hiro Noshimuri (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), Hiro's brother Koji (William Maeda), the man who was responsible for McGarrett's mother getting blown up in the family car years before (the intended victim was McGarrett's father), as well as a gang of bosozoku, low-level yakuza punk enforcers, and almost Wo Fat himself!
Tagawa, playing a local industrialist big shot who is chummy with the Governor, is unbelievably slimy -- one of the most sinister villains in the history of Five-O, old and new. This guy gave me the creeps, making me feel like fast-forwarding to the next scene, since I didn't want to see what was going to happen between him and our boy. But McGarrett did not back down when dealing with him. The show also brought back Al Harrington, Ben from the original series, as Mamo Kahike, owner of a surf rental place, who knew McGarrett and his family years before. Chin Ho did his usual geeky number, supplying expository information and extracting cel phone data; Kono got to take charge of the investigation at the Pipeline Club, hangout for the yakuza punks.
As seen in a previous show, McGarrett's sister Mary Ann was snooping in their father's Champion sparkplug tool box. Later, she was trying to get answers about what happened to her mother from HPD. Unfortunately, this just got her in hot water, because at the beginning of this show, thugs break into McGarrett's place, steal the box and taser him, then kidnap Mary Ann from her beachfront house, leading to a dramatic helicopter rescue with McGarrett and Danno following a car where she is locked in the trunk. I didn't understand how Mary Ann could be talking to McGarrett on her cel phone from inside the trunk -- wouldn't the two goons driving the car have taken it from her? Even if they were too dumb not to, wouldn't they have heard her talking (after all, she is just behind the rear seat) and also heard the noise when she kicked out the back turn signal so she could get an idea where she was and relay that information back to her brother? Is it even possible to easily kick out the turn signal on this model of car?
There was the usual banter between McGarrett and Danno in this episode, but instead of just revealing Danno to be an annoying individual, it actually advanced the plot. The photography in the teaser had a couple of cool moments, with a shot of McGarrett at an odd angle, and especially when the tool box was dragged past the unconscious McGarrett lying on the floor. Now if only those background process shots while McGarrett and Danno are driving could be in focus...
The music was less objectionable than normal, though I don't know if that was because the action on screen was so overwhelming, or because Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready reportedly had something to do with it. The script was a first time Five-0 effort by Nicole Ranadive, who was involved with "24" for almost 100 episodes as either script co-ordinator, script supervisor or writer, including the entire fourth season which Five-0 executive producer Peter Lenkov co-executive produced. (Lenkov wrote the story for this Five-0 episode.) Let's hope it won't be her last.
- When the Governor asked McGarrett for a beer, I'm surprised he didn't say to her, "Sure, you're paying for it," as he whipped one out of the fridge in his office.
- At Mary Ann's place, a tooth is found on the floor, later identified as belonging to one of the bosozoku punks. Considering it's not a front tooth, it's hard to imagine how it got extracted thanks to the relatively puny Mary Ann.
- The picture of Al Harrington's character taken from his driver's license is not a particularly flattering one.
- The Kekipi helicopter used to follow Mary Ann's kidnappers is number N6077H.
- Hiro Noshimuri's birthdate on his Japanese passport (number GND-239940) is 12/29/61, about 11 years after actor Tagawa's actual birth date.
- McGarrett confronts Noshimuri at a restaurant in the Pauahi Tower, an actual Honolulu landmark. The cel phone number that one of the punks was calling (Noshimuri's phone) was 808-555-0184. It's hard to comprehend why the "powerful and connected" Noshimuri could have gone to the Pipeline Club and handled the toolbox, leaving his fingerprints all over it, which lead to his downfall.
- Several weeks prior to this show being broadcast, there was a huge blow-up on Twitter and various WWW sites with Taryn Manning releasing comments through Twitter which suggested her character was going to be knocked off. But this all came to nothing. One wonders if this was all a setup!
- There is an explanation for how Wo Fat can get into prison easily to talk to Hesse in the last episode -- because Wo Fat is an unknown quantity.
Kono and Chin are driving with the usual annoying projected backdrops in the middle of nowhere, engaging in cousin/cousine chit-chat, when suddenly there is a radio call about a police pursuit. Despite the fact that they are Five-0, not HPD, they join the chase.
After the pursued car (a Ford Mustang) flips over (another slap at Ford, the old show's sponsor), the driver is near death, and a box which was in the car reveals a man's head. What follows is an interesting "process" show.
Max Bergman, the medical examiner, who is acting pretty normal, manages to figure out where Han Chi (Ky Vuong), the now-deceased driver of the car, lived, based on the the hydrogen/oxygen content of his hair, which seems very iffy. Using this information, McGarrett and Danno trace him to a garage where they meet Mr. Chi (Tzi Ma), the man's father as well as his young son Ming Hua (Derrick Djou), whose name was the last thing Han uttered before he expired. McGarrett tells Mr. Chi that he thinks Han was innocent, and they intend to prove this (shades of the old show).
This leads to some annoying Danno/McGarrett banter while driving, which goes on far too long, about how McGarrett is a "softie" because a "father" is involved in a case. During this sequence they are seen driving on a road along the beach and the projected backdrop behind them does not reflect this (it should have shown the ocean).
When he sees his son's body at the morgue, Mr. Chi says someone offered his son $1000 to do a delivery job. Chin Ho has recovered information from the destroyed car's GPS which says it was going to 11878 Keawe Street. As well, the severed head shows signs of lead and iodine 131, which leads Chin and Kono to the Hawaii Medical Center to see if the victim was being treated for cancer.
At the hospital, Chin runs into his ex-fiancée Malia (Reiko Aylesworth), who is still wearing his ring as a necklace. Malia identifies the man as Henry Duncan, a high school teacher. When she sees Kono, Malia moves as if she wants to hug her, but Kono, who is pissed about the way the relationship ended, totally blows her off.
When McGarrett and Danno go to Duncan's house, they find signs of a struggle and blood spatter on the walls. The phone is off the hook, and McGarrett listens to both the last incoming and outgoing calls, which Danno recognizes as an office of an investment counsellor at the address on Keawe Street from the GPS. This turns out to be Duncan's father-in-law Robert Rovin (Greg Germann), who is very concerned about the whereabouts of his daughter Nicole (Amanda Schull) who didn't show up for work that day.
Rovin seems to be in a big hurry to go somewhere, carrying a couple of large suitcases, and McGarrett and Danno follow him to the docks where he meets up with Spenser Owens (Jordan Belfi), the owner of the rental car driven and supposedly stolen by Han Chi and who was previously interviewed by Kono after the accident. Owens is shot dead when he pulls a gun on Danno, who does a spectacular somersault getting out of a moving car, similar to the one also performed by Danno in the eighth season show of the original series Death's Name is SAM.
When Rovin fears that his daughter will be killed by Owens' associates, who had demanded $5 million in payment to release the supposedly kidnapped Nicole, McGarrett and Danno go to Owens' house, where they speculate that he was having an affair with Nicole, and the two lovers were planning to flee to France (which has no extradition treaty with the United States). The two of them murdered Duncan, cut off his head and paid Han Chi to take the head to Rovin to convince him to pay the random. McGarrett and Danno confront Nicole at the airport where she is waiting for Owens to show up.
The show closes with McGarrett returning to Mr. Chi to give him a letter from the Governor expediting his becoming an American citizen (he and his family were all in the country illegally). In return, Mr. Chi gives McGarrett a part for the Mercury Marquis, which, along with an ongoing discussion between McGarrett and Danno about the show CHIPS, has been a background theme throughout the show.
I liked this show because it was pretty logical, but, because of the 42 minute time limit, the villains didn't strike me as particularly evil (and cutting someone's head off with a saw is pretty evil). The blonde Nicole was very hot, more of a spoiled bitch, and her boyfriend Owens was not particularly "bad" either.
The scene at the end where McGarrett confronted Nicole was silly. I kept saying, "Why doesn't she ask for a lawyer?" McGarrett's blanket immunity does not apply to overriding people's basic legal rights, which McGarrett didn't bother reading to her. Predictably, Nicole blabbed away about how she couldn't get the $5 million from her father to finance the trip to France for her and Spenser if her husband was still alive. A good lawyer could probably make mincemeat of the way Five-0 treated her.
The color photography in this show was very unnatural looking at times, and the music with its usual rip-offs of Bourne and Lost music was awful.
- There is a major goof with Spenser Owens' date of birth -- on his drivers license it is 29/DEC/78, but on his passport it is 12/NOV/74. The driver's license, number NCTP-233992, shows Owens' address to be 6041 Young Street, Honolulu 96814 (a bogus address), he is 6'0" weighs 163 pounds, has brown hair and blue eyes. The date of issue of the license is 01/25/2009 and the expiry date is 12/29/2012. The date of issue for the passport is 02 May 2005. When McGarrett and Danno investigate at Owens' house near the end of the show, the address on his luggage tag is 548 Mario Dr., Honolulu HI 96817.
- When Nicole says "Who" to Danno at the airport, and he replies, "What are you, an owl?", this line is very similar to one used by Al Pacino in the film "Heat."
- Even though Rovin is an investment counsellor, is it easy to get $5 million together without attracting a lot of attention?
- The whole business about the Governor pulling strings to expedite the grandfather and kid becoming American citizens was questionable. A US friend of mine e-mailed: "I'm not 100% sure but I do not think so. INS takes priority over government rights. Perhaps a governor could appeal to INS for special dispensation."
- When Danno and McGarrett break into Duncan's house, the phone is on the wall and it's still "beeping." With my phone company, the beeping only happens to alert someone that they didn't hang up the phone and eventually this stops.
This tsunami episode, which had more than a few similarities to Forty Feet High and It Kills (season two) and Tsunami (season ten) from the old show, was far too fast-paced and there were lots of logistical and topographic questions. For example, why are people shown stocking up on food when time is of the essence to get out of town? Is this in downtown Honolulu, where the people are supposed to be evacuating? How long would it really take people to evacuate everyone from downtown Honolulu, anyway? (This question could be asked of the two old shows as well.)
Another question: McGarrett's girl friend Catherine is shown on her aircraft carrier within an hour/hour and a half of getting the word about the tsunami when she is at McGarrett's house "fooling around." She is all ready to go, providing him with critical GPS-related info and other highly classified data which would probably get her canned big time. But this aircraft carrier seems to be in the middle of the ocean somewhere. How did she get there? Did she get ferried there by helicopter? Is she that important that she would get this kind of treatment?
I thought it was pretty funny the way people from previous shows like Mamo (Al Harrington) and Duke (Dennis Chun, son of Kam Fong, the original Chin Ho) suddenly appeared out of nowhere in what were like cameos, especially Duke! Of all the cops in Honolulu, he shows up at the exact time at a critical scene. Also, Danno's daughter Grace and Kamekona were featured and Chin's girl friend Malia was mentioned.
As in the old show Tsunami, the gimmick is the tidal wave is totally bogus, designed to cover up a major crime, specifically the theft of $28 million from the Chin Ho-related police evidence locker, $10 million of which was "expropriated" by McGarrett and company a couple of episodes before to save Chin's life and which got burned up by McGarrett's arch-enemy Victor Hesse.
The bad guy in this new show is Coast Guard Commander Sam Hale (Brian Goodman), who feels he is owed this money because he got jerked around years before during a combined HPD/Coast Guard drug operation. It is highly unrealistic that Hale, a relatively insignificant character, had the time to go to the evidence locker, take the money (all $28 million of which surprisingly exists, as revealed at the end of the show), stuff it into sandbags, and haul the sandbags up to the front of the building. How did Hale know exactly where the evidence locker was located? Also, how many of these sandbags had money in them? Just one? If it was only one, how did McGarrett know which one it was (he picks it out quickly just by feeling the bags)? Was he just guessing?
Hale's rambling at the end was total B.S. ("We [the Coast Guard] got screwed around by HPD," "I am losing my pension," "My country owes me," etc.). He should have said "I want to speak to a lawyer." DUH!!
The opening yellow tinged shot of the hotels was awful, as were many others. I am sick of these shots! I can show dozens of shots of Honolulu from not only the old show, but also from other shows like Baywatch Hawaii which I was watching recently regarding the appearance of some Five-O actors. The local landscape does not have this look which is either yellow or the colors are totally off! UGH! The music was forgettable. The projected backgrounds as McGarrett and Danno were driving were annoying as usual, especially in one scene where the speed of the car as seen from outside did not match the following shot from inside. As well, this was another show where Danno obviously forgot to take his Midol.
On the positive side, Courtney (Jo Jo Levesque), the daughter of Dr. Norman Russell (John Sullivan), the kidnapped scientist and boss of the Tsunami Warning Center (TWC), was well developed, as was Tanya (Agnes Bruckner), the blonde hacker, who was super hot! But McGarrett and Danno's questioning of Tanya, making comments about how she wouldn't see her daughter for a long time, was lame. Something else positive: there was actually a shot from inside McGarrett and Danno's car looking outside as it was moving which was not a process shot!
On the dumb side was Dr. Russell using his daughter's name (CourtneyRose) as his top-secret password. How stupid was that? As well, this guy used the password "1015" as a wrong password to give people a clue regarding the time of the impending tsunami. Again, no one in their right mind would use a four-character password for such a secure login -- obviously it would get someone's attention as a result ... like maybe that of the bad guys! The way Chin Ho determined these two passwords by connecting to the TWC's computers was really unbelievable.
For this episode, the show changed its day of broadcast from Monday to Sunday following the Steelers-Jets AFC Championship Game and aired in primetime, allowing CBS to crush the competition in the ratings. But, seriously, they should have run either one of the two previous episodes after the game, not this one, which at the very most deserved two and a half stars for a "don't think about it too hard" rating.
SOME GOOD QUOTES:
- Mamo: "Somebody's blowing smoke up somebody's okole." (Yes, it means "ass.")
- Danno: "We've been crossing the line a little too easily lately and now it looks like we are going to pay for it."
- Deputy TWC Director Sheldon Tunney (Joel David Moore): "We're the main center for the entire Pacific Rim." Uh, I don't think so! Sounds like the old show(s)!
A very good episode, which would score 3-1/2 stars on the "don't think about it too hard" scale.
There are two stories for the price of one, the first of which involves Danno's ex-wife Rachel and daughter Grace. They are carjacked while they are driving in the Mercedes belonging to the ex-wife's new husband Stan (Mark Deklin). The big question is: what is behind this? Is it connected to Wo Fat, or does it have something to do with a protected witness that Five-0 has to escort to the courthouse in Honolulu (though the carjacking happens around the time the team is being briefed on the witness by McGarrett).
Turns out that it has nothing to do with either of these. Instead, Stan's life got complicated after surreptitiously taping Housing Commissioner Bruce Hoffman (Barry Levy) who wanted his palm greased a bit too much and then threatening to use the tape to expose the guy's corruption. This throws Danno into a major tizzy after he figures out what is going on, and gives him the opportunity for some great lines. The Housing Commissioner himself is kind of a pleasant-looking guy, though, not someone sinister and slimy as we might expect (certainly not someone who would hire two nasty looking goons to scare the crap out of a little girl).
The main plotline for the show has to do with the protected witness, Julie Masters (Mariana Klaveno), who is being guarded by an FBI agent in the Kahuku area. She witnessed the murder of a dockworker by Aron Brenner (Robert Prescott), her boss at Handmade Imports, who it turns out is "a major distributor for the Baja drug cartel" (a topical bunch of bad guys who are probably less offensive than other politically-correct organizations and nationalities). Of course, her testimony can "put him away for life" ... he might even get the death penalty (even though Hawaii doesn't have the death penalty!).
The FBI agent gets knocked off almost immediately at the beginning of the show after he notices that one of the two "HPD cops" sent to escort him and Julie to the courthouse in Honolulu has a couple of bullet holes in the back of his shirt from where he knocked off one of the two real cops. Julie manages to escape from the safe house by using hairspray as a blowtorch on one of the two killers, which is a prelude to a chase by McGarrett and Chin Ho through the jungle to find her.
When they do find her, there are the usual topographic issues. Julie is pursued by the two hired guns. McGarrett and Chin follow them all, but they find Julie before running into the bad guys, who you would suspect are between them and her. Did she hide and the two guys (who, like McGarrett, seem to have native Indian-like tracking abilities) miss her, but then kept going, and after McGarrett found her they doubled back?
Sort of like a woman who enjoys cleaning her house in the nude, Navy SEAL McGarrett slathers some black camouflage-like paint on his face and goes all Predator, rigging up a heavy chunk of log which he uses to knock out one of the bad guys after he sends Chin and Julie back in the direction of the courthouse. (Notice at the end of the show when he gets back to town, the black paint is gone. Maybe his SEAL backpack includes cold cream.)
Despite the fact the bad guys are "professional assasins," they seem to have difficulty hitting the side of the proverbial barn door. One of them takes potshots (and misses) at Chin and Julie after the latter mistakenly tumbles over a cliff, while a third killer (equally professional, one would suspect) can't hit Chin and Julie when they escape on a motorcycle later in the show. During this sequence, McGarrett suddenly appears out of nowhere, conveniently near the road where the third guy is pursuing Chin and Julie in a Ford which gets seriously damaged after McGarrett pumps several bullets into it (and its driver).
Thanks to Chin Ho, Julie does manage to arrive at the courthouse, and things don't look good for Brenner. Kono has been busy running facial recognition software on the three bad guys. How the computer can identify them from photos based on the airline manifest staggers the mind, but not as much as the shot showing them unloading stuff from an van, which I don't think has anything to do with their arrival at the airport a few days before. (This software even manages to switch from a view above to a view on the side, similar to the movie Blade Runner.) Does Hawaii have all-pervasive surveillance cameras everywhere similar to the United Kingdom? Kono originally isolates these three guys by the fact that all of them paid CASH for their flight from Costa Rica, a very "unprofessional" move on their part. Like what is a better way to call attention to themselves. DUH!
There is a fourth member of the hit team, a "cleaner" (Malia Mathis) who will take care of things if all else fails. Kono's efforts reveal her to be a woman ... who is the co-counsel for Brenner! There are a lot of questions about how this was set up. Obviously, she didn't arrive on the plane with the three men. But then why would she be seen helping them unload stuff from the van in the surveillance photo? She would want to keep her connection with them as secret as possible. I'm sure she was in Hawaii from a long time before, and the other defense counsel (the sleazy guy who Kono totally bitches out) knew all about her. She could have been trying to pull herself off as an attorney from the mainland who was licensed to practice in Hawaii as far as the prosecuting attorney was concerned, for example. But how did she get a gun into the courthouse? Don't they have metal detectors?
Whatever! Kono rushes to the courthouse in the nick of time and in a total kick-ass fight, the best one with Kono since the season's first episode after the pilot, takes care of the "cleaner" woman.
I liked this episode because it was fast-paced and focused more on Kono and Chin Ho than normal. Danno's obligatory rant with McGarrett was not that annoying (though I'm sure McGarrett didn't appreciate getting it at such a crucial time), and was relevant to the plot. And guess what ... the photography was VERY good, none of the usual yellowish tinge! Even the music for the teaser made me think for a few seconds that someone other than the usual "team" had worked on it, but it didn't take long to fall back into the usual "won't STFU" mode. As in Ke Kinohi, the action on screen made the music less prominent.
Speaking of the music (and I see that I have never mentioned this on these pages), why can't they incorporate some of Morton Stevens' original theme into the underscore, just like the producers of the Star Trek movies have done with Alexander Courage's theme from the original TV show? After all, CBS owns the rights to the music, don't they? They have brought Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun, Kam Fong's son -- good for him!) back into the show three times now, but after 15 episodes, there hasn't even been one snippet of the iconic music, other than the main and closing titles.
- The airplane manifests that Kono brings up while investigating the assassins are pretty funny. In the manner of The Computer Killer from the old Five-O, they have a bunch of silly entries like R. Ukracy, P. Tunia, O. Grouch and B. Bird. As well, despite the fact there are three separate airline manifests, several of the people were on all three flights coming from Little Rock, Houston and San Jose, Costa Rica. (See screen shots here: #1, #2, #3.)
- Once again, the driving sequences with Danno were badly handled. Notice Danno's hands on the steering wheel while he is talking to McGarrett in the jungle. The positions of his hands relative to the "notch" in the wheel on the left (from our point of view) never changes, despite the fact that the view behind him suggests he is turning at least once. Are all the roads in Hawaii that straight? Later, when Danno is talking to Stan, he takes his eyes off the road for far too long several times. According to the CNET videos made around the time of the show's premiere (see http://bit.ly/aZ2Zlj -- "The cameras of "Hawaii Five-0") there is supposed to be a projection ahead of the driver so he or she can react to the actual road where the process shots were filmed.
- Stan's last name is revealed to be Edwards.
- Some good quotes. McGarrett to the assassin who gets "logged": "I'm not going to torture you." Danno to Stan: "I am working on my anger management issues and I am learning conflict resolution." Brenner to Kono: "You must be my conjugal visit."
- Prior to their expedition into the jungle, McGarrett refers to MREs (Military Meals Ready to Eat) and SAT (satellite) phones.
- When McGarrett and Chin find Julie hiding, McGarrett speaks to her VERY LOUDLY, not a good idea, considering where the bad guys might be at any moment.
- Danno's badge number is 7576. His car license number (seen in previous episodes) is DV2 399.
- Product placement for the Liliha Bakery's coco puffs as well as Hilton Hotels (where Danno sends Rachel and Grace after their house gets trashed).
- Julie's driver's license, number MR CH-47788, shows her address as being 1437 Featherton Place, Honolulu 96820. This ZIP code is not a particularly residential area, it's in downtown Honolulu in the area which includes the Iolani Palace.
- McGarrett is too clever department: he can figure out the bad guys wore size 11 shoes just by seeing their footprints on the floor of the safe house where they were pursuing Julie. McGarrett's attempts at tracking based on a leaf that has fallen to the ground are laughable.
- Despite the fact that early on McGarrett says there is "no cel service that deep at Kahuku," Chin calls McGarrett on his cel from outside the safe house to come and see the murdered HPD officers in their car's trunk.
- Brenner's oily defense lawyer is played by Michael Green, a real defense lawyer in Honolulu who describes himself in a video on his WWW site as "dedicated" and "aggressive." Hopefully he can have a recurring role, much like the late Kwan Hi Lim in the original series, also a lawyer who enjoyed playing a variety of parts, many of them disreputable.
- Speaking of Predator, the opening of the show, with the camera taking in a view of the whole earth and then zooming in on the "jungle" where the action will take place, is highly reminiscent of the opening of that movie.
This show, where the plot again was pretty logical, had a potentially interesting idea -- Tongan pirates (presumably this was cleared with the politically correct censors) kidnap a catamaran full of partying spring breakers whose parents are rich. But there were far too many similarities to previous shows. For example, once again it is about a KIDNAPPING (by my count, over half the shows seen so far have some connection to this subject*), there were the usual red herrings, and a guest star puts in far too little time at the beginning of the show, leading to unnecessary (and in this case, quickly resolved) speculation about what their role will be at the end of the show.
The guest stars for this show were real-life couple Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo. The very hot Minnillo played Susan, first mate on the catamaran, and the pirates didn't waste any time about boarding the boat, knocking off the captain and abducting the dozen or so students. McGarrett and Danno were summoned from some middle-of-nowhere road where they were trying to push the iconic 1974 Mercury Marquis Brougham that McGarrett was restoring. In the next scene they are on a Coast Guard ship (without the usual "thanks to the Coast Guard" credit such as appeared on the old show). The dialogue during this sequence was practically incomprehensible.
Five-0 has to deal with the rich kids' parents who quickly arrive. McGarrett makes a big speech to them full of the usual clichés about "don't co-operate with the kidnappers," "giving in to their demands will cause more harm than good," "let us do our job," etc. Of course one of the couples doesn't heed his advice, and their son is inexplicably murdered anyway. (The father of this couple, Morris Brown, is played by Ray Wise of Twin Peaks fame.) The scene where McGarrett's speech was delivered was lame (probably intentionally, to demonstrate that Five-0 really didn't know much at that point), as was the Five-0 dress code, considering all the parents were dressed to the nines and Five-0 looked like slobs.
Five-0 rounds up the usual suspects, including some other "pirates" who fleece tourists on the high seas. Their leader, Saloni, was played by Branscombe Richmond, who was the bad guy in the little-seen 1997 Hawaii Five-O pilot directed by Stephen Cannell ("Busey Five-O"). This is the red herring, because these guys have an iron clad alibi.
To find these "other pirates," McGarrett employs some extreme interrogation techniques with the owner of a pawn shop, attaching a grenade to the security door which leads to the shop's back room. One wonders if the show will produce a merchandising tie-in with a Navy SEAL backpack containing grenades and other goodies. Although the dialogue for this scene was amusing, the civil rights aspect, as usual, was dumb. I figured instead they were going to get the bulky Kamekona (seen just moments before) to break the door down.
Further investigation leads to a suspect who gave the kids free passes to the catamaran. His eyes are matched to one of the pirates via biometric scanning, despite the fact that one of the photos is from a cel phone video made by one of the kids as the pirates were boarding. It also leads to a kick-ass stunt by Kono, who leaps over an escalator to nab some other guy who has some connection to the kidnapped kids.
Up to this point, no one (other than most of the viewing audience) seems to figure out that (SPOILER COMING) Lachey's character, Tyler, the fiance of Susan, who was seen for a few seconds earlier as his girl friend returned to land after the kidnapping is ... THE BAD GUY. The two of them are in cahoots to extort the money and leave town ASAP. The new show already set a precedent with this kind of disappearing guest star in Ko'olauloa, the surfing show, where Kevin Sorbo appeared briefly at the beginning and at the end also turned out to be THE BAD GUY.
McGarrett shows himself to be clever at the end, revealing they figured out it was Tyler because he used Susan's name when making his demands for her to deliver the ransom money, whereas her name was never mentioned in the newspaper story about the case. The ending, with a happy reunion between the kids and their parents (exception: Morris Brown and his wife) was accompanied by cloying music. (Surprising to me, some of the other underscore had a few sequences which were almost tolerable.)
- The kidnapped kids and their credit card numbers are as follows:
Josie Layton [father has beard, parents interviewed by Five-0] - 408 0412 3456 7890 [first number missing, maybe an American Express card?]
Mark Zuggler - 4417 1234 5678 9112
Cecelia Graybridge - 5412 3456 7890 1234
Samantha Truftin - 3728 4234 5671 008 [one number short, another AmEx card?]
Sean Jenloe - 4552 7204 1234 5678
Antonia Provazolli - 5467 5293 9003 3027
David Weisenstock - 5490 1234 5678 9123
Justin Brown [the murdered kid] - 4556 6783 9560 0277
Ralph Sternwig - 6011 6157 2929 0922
Dan Frodeman - 4747 4587 2243 6846
Caroline Takahamo - 5404 2247 2421 8074
Marilyn Turgenian - 6011 0829 9239 1766
- One wonders why McGarrett and Danno are pushing the Mercury in the opening scenes. Were they trying to get the car to start? According to Michael Timothy, who should know, since he owns the Park Lane, the other car used by McGarrett in the series, you cannot get the Brougham to start by popping the clutch. There are some questions about the tow truck driver during this scene. As far as I can determine, the tow truck just happens to be driving by, though this is not a very busy road, and the driver is curious about what is going on. It's not like McGarrett or Danno dialled *AAA on their cel phone. While pushing the car, Danno complains that it is "a 3 ton hunk of metal." According to Michael, the actual weight of the car is 4,853 pounds. With regard to the location, Benjamin Hom reports: "The location is on Round Top Drive at the University of Hawaii/Diamond Head/Waikiki/Manoa Valley scenic overlook. Oddly enough, McGarrett and Danno are pushing the car uphill. No wonder Danno is so annoyed!"
- Tyler expects Five-0 to get $20 million in the space of less than an hour (see also Lanakila and He Kane Hewa'ole for a similar ridiculous time frame). Just because the show is 42 minutes long doesn't mean that the time to produce such a huge amount of money should be equally compressed. Maybe Five-0 was expected to use the "Chin Ho money stash" again? One wonders how much $20 million would weigh and whether Susan could lift this ... or the replacement, which consists of phone books.
- LOL quotes: Kamekona to Danno when the latter ridicules sumo, saying that Kamekoma will wear a diaper: "Lip off to me one more time, I'll give you a personal introduction to the sport." Danno to McGarrett after the grenade incident: "What is the matter with you? You need help! I will pay for it."
- Pirates are stupid dept.: If the kid filming with his cel phone got so close to them as they climbed over the railing that Kono could use the eyes from the video for biometric scanning, why didn't they smash the cel phone? At the end, Tyler says to Susan "I told you this would work." As if McGarrett can't hear this? Tyler should have taken the microphone out of her ear and smashed it first!
- In the newspaper story about the kidnapping, which is written by "Lucy Young-Oda," the name of the "40-foot yacht" the kids were on -- Chryon -- is not seen anywhere on the actual boat. The name of the name of the catamaran company, which is on the sides of the boat as well as at the rear, is "Makani" (a real company).
- The line which McGarrett tells Susan at the end when Tyler is opening up the bag and finding the phone books inside is almost totally inaudible. But this is a very CRUCIAL line! (According to Barbara, the line is ""Hey Susan, you really think I was gonna let you just walk in there with all of that money?") When the smoke bomb in the bag goes off, freaking out the kidnappers, it looks like there is not only a bomb in the bag, but also two other smoke bombs which are not in the bag.
- At the end, Tyler escapes and jumps on to a tour bus, which gives an excuse for a spectacular McGarrett stunt. But isn't this supposed to be in the middle of nowhere in the warehouse district, and if so, what is a tour bus doing in that area? When McGarrett bends over to unmask Tyler at the end, at the top of the bus ceiling behind him is an ad for Waiola Shave Ice with a picture of Kamekona.
- The license plate on McGarrett's father's car is FCS 154. This is the actual plate number (see this link).
- Dennis Chun as Duke Lukela is back again! Now when are they gonna give Elissa Dulce and Jimmy Borges some work?
*Shows about kidnapping in some shape or form. (McGarrett: "I've handled many kidnapping cases personally." Yeah -- right!)
1. Pilot - McGarrett's father is kidnapped and murdered
2. Ohana - computer/security geek is kidnapped by Serbians to take down Oahu radar and help them peddle goods to mysterious foreigners.
4. Lanakila - crazed convict kidnaps his former partner; when he loses control of the guy, he flees to another island, kidnapping a tourist family.
5. Nalowale - daughters of Philippine ambassador are kidnapped to make him co-operate with rebels; one is murdered.
7. Ho'apono - Navy SEAL unjustly accused of killing his wife takes USS Missouri tourists hostage.
11. Palekaiko - psycho upset by bad relationship experiences kidnaps two tourist women.
13. Ke Kinohi - McGarrett's sister is kidnapped by sinister forces concerned about what she found in the tool box.
15. Kaie'e - Daughter of tsunami center scientist is kidnapped so he will co-operate with the bad guys.
17. Powa Maka Moana - Tongan "pirates" kidnap a catamaran full of kids celebrating spring break.
This was an above average show. One of the two plots had some problems, but the other made up for any shortcomings. As well, I was particularly impressed by the fact that the show's photography didn't exhibit any of the usual obnoxious yellow tinge AT ALL.
The show began with the murder of the daughter of "hanging judge" Raymond Kamalei, played by veteran character actor Clyde Kusatsu, who appeared in the original show's ninth season episode "Yes, My Deadly Daughter." She plummeted to her death when a zip line she was taking in the Kawailoa Forest Reserve collapsed after an explosion. Soon after this, the son of Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chen (Eric Nemoto) was blown up in his car. Five-0 determined that the most likely suspect (after the usual red herrings were eliminated) was Travis Roan. His son Thomas had been jailed for 18 months by Kamalei for a DUI charge and had been subsequently murdered in a prison brawl. Roan Senior had been in jail in his home state of Wyoming on an aggravated assault charge for the last seven years and released only recently, but not in time to see his son again.
Although Roan, creepily played by Theo Coumbis, was a menacing character who had demolition experience in the past and according to Chin Ho, "[knew] his way around a construction site," one has to wonder how he could have obtained dynamite legally on Oahu, assuming he didn't bring it with him from the mainland -- which would have probably been detected by the airline baggage inspection. As well, how could he know the phone numbers of the judge and prosecutor and where they and their children were going to be at exactly a certain time? One also has to also wonder how Roan could travel to Hawaii if he was on parole, considering Chin said he couldn't have visited his son in jail on Oahu because "former felons aren't allowed."
Quick work by Kono enabled Five-0 to avoid a third explosion vaporizing the public defender Diana Meachum (Brooke Alexander), who did an ineffectual job for Roan's son in court. This scene might have been more suspenseful, though, if Meachum's son had taken his bomb-filled knapsack with him when he and his mother exited their car in a hurry after a call from McGarrett.
All of this was going on while Danno's investment advisor brother Matt (Dane Cook) arrived in Hawaii, supposedly for a vacation. He was being shadowed by FBI agents because he was suspected of bilking $58 million in funds from his investors and likely to flee from the States to another jurisdiction. Danno was shocked to learn from Matt that this was all true. As well, Matt met with a Colombian drug lord whose money he was going to launder in Singapore. There were numerous "awww" moments between Uncle Matt and Danno's daughter Grace, as well as Danno's ex-wife Rachel, who hung out with all of them (her new husband Stan was nowhere to be seen). The banter between Danno and McGarrett was minimal, and the acting between Scott Caan and Cook exemplary, especially comedian Cook, taking a serious role like Rich Little and Frank Gorshin in the original series.
The end of the show, where Danno tried to prevent his brother from fleeing the country by plane, was kind of dumb, however. Why couldn't McGarrett, who had super powers to get the Governor to convince the FBI agents to tell him what they were up to pursuing Matt, order the plane NOT to leave Hawaii? Or if worse came to worse, why didn't Danno just shoot out the plane's tires, since it was sitting right in front of him?
- When Kono brings up Roan's driver's license on the Five-0 supercomputer, there is a list of car rentals which appears on screen for a fraction of a second before this. Several of the names are very similar to those used in the previous episode for the kidnapped kids: Terry Takahamo, Robert Prodeman (?), Mandy Sternwig, Ivan Turgenian, Roger Kinkirk, David Weisenstock, Randy Tallridge, Arthur Cloperman, Wiulliam Graybridge, Travis Roan, Edwina Jenlowe, Rita Provazolli, Thomas Lippsger, Patrice Bordinay, Mark Zuggler and Cynthia Fellano.
- Clyde Kusatsu was featured in the ninth season episode of the original Five-O, "Yes, My Deadly Daughter." Presumably the reference to his character as a "hanging judge" was not meant literally, since there is no capital punishment in Hawaii.
- According to various web pages as of late 2010, there are no zip lines on Oahu.
- The store where Chin Ho investigates the remote control airplanes that were used to supply parts for Roan's bombs is the Hobbietat at 1413 10th Ave. in Honolulu. (http://www.hobbietat.com) -- this is an actual store, and the sign above the front door is the actual sign, though it looks like they have modified it to remove the street address which is replaced with "Honolulu's favorite hobby and fishing supply specialists." The Google Maps view of the sign is not particularly clear, but this photo shows that the word "Hobby" is misspelled as seen in the show: http://bit.ly/fkbiV9
- McGarrett quote (remarkably like the old show): "Contact every rental company on the island. I want the name of anybody driving a rental -- that make, model and color."
- Other good quotes: FBI Agent Edward Kipton to McGarrett: "See if your fairy godmother [the Governor] can get you out of that." Matt to Danno: "What's with the third degree, Magnum?" (Getting very close to the original Five-O universe!)
- Roan's Wyoming driver's license #R1528713 shows his date of birth as 01/01/1961, and expires 10/01/2014. His address is 437 Botswell Land, Cheyenne, WY 82009. He is 5'11", weighs 166 pounds and has brown eyes. His address on a letter written to him by his son is 36724 S. Passway Road, Cheyenne 83240 (there is no such real postal code).
- The business card of the Waioleka Charters, the airline company that Matt is using to get out of the country has an address of 9903 Fiddle Lane, Honolulu with a ZIP code of 06845. There is no such ZIP code, and if there were, it would be in Connecticut, not Hawaii.
- The name of the public defender, Meachum, is similar to that of "Mister" Beecham, a character in the classic Five-O show "I'll Kill 'Em Again."
- When McGarrett and Danno are tailing Matt, the process shot does not match what is on the street after they turn the corner.
This show did not start out well. The banter between McGarrett and Danno over Danno's bag lunch at the beginning was painful to listen to, as was some of the conversation later when they were driving. Aside from this, the show was pretty good, though extremely complicated.
This was another multi-level story. There was far too much information in this show, combined with exposition which treats the audience as clueless, all backed up with the non-stop chunka-chunka-chunka music. On the positive side, I thought the color was much improved over the usual. The nighttime shot of Honolulu near the end was really gorgeous.
This show introduces us to CIA operative Jenna Kaye (played by Larisa Oleynik -- the name is reminiscent of federal bigshot Jonathan Kaye in the original series). She takes leave from her low-level analyst job in Virginia to come to Hawaii to track down Wo Fat, who was responsible for the murder of her financé three years before. She tries to push McGarrett around using her CIA credentials, but he manages to get background information on her which totally blows her cover. From Jenna we learn some information about Wo Fat: that he was an agent in the Ministry of State Security (MSS), the Chinese Government's intelligence arm, responsible for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations. After achieving the rank of Colonel, Wo disappeared, later to emerge as a major player in the criminal underworld, where he killed at least 23 people.
The show begins with a man named Alex Baker, dressed in a comic book character costume, being thrown several stories off a hotel, landing on a cabana below. This leads Danno and McGarrett to a geeky comic book convention where a woman in the guise of "Psycho Kitty" (Aimee Zannoni) says she was Baker's Internet girl friend. Her ex-husband Trevor Wright (Nick Masciangelo) had shown up from the mainland and threatened to kill Baker. Trevor is duly tracked down, but says he didn't do it, and has an iron-clad alibi. Chin and Kono go to Baker's hotel room, but find no signs of a struggle. In the room immediately above, there is a broken window, so they speculate that Baker got drunk in the hotel bar, presumably to drown his sorrows over being threatened by Trevor, and while returning to his room, he got off the the wrong floor and knocked on the door of the room above his just as someone was waiting there to kill whoever was really booked into the room. A Rolex watch from this room (question to think about later: why is this watch in the room?) is traced to lawyer Richard Davis (D.B. Sweeney), but he is out of town, according to his wife Anne (Perrey Reeves). A stolen credit card used to pay for the room is traced to Jonathan de Mille (a.k.a. Johnny D) (James Ransone), who is a high-spender frequenting a local strip club. Kono and Danno hack into Johnny D's cel phone and, pretending to be Johnny's stripper girl friend Tiffany Martin, get him to show up at the club, where McGarrett and Chin give chase. In the Five-0 interrogation chamber, Johnny D says he also didn't kill Baker. Johnny, who was hiding out at the hotel after he found out someone was after him, turns out to be a thief who has a garage full of stolen goods, including a snow globe that contains a memory card. This card reveals a video showing a man with Lindsey Roberts (Kristina Waiau), a young woman who was found dead after being missing three years before. The parents of the dead girl identify the women in the photo as lawyer Davis, her boss. When he is arrested, Davis says he also didn't do it. It turns out (finally) that the person who did it was Davis's wife Anne who found out that he was having an affair, thanks to a hidden camera in her husband's office, and after inviting Roberts to her house, she clubbed Roberts to death with a baseball bat that her husband had in his sports memorabilia collection. (Chin Ho remembers the bat from when he originally visited Davis's house and talked to the wife about the stolen Rolex.) The wife then got her thuggish personal trainer to track down Johnny D and kill him (instead, he killed Baker). Is that complicated enough?
What is amazing -- when Davis is arrested near the end of the show, Kono actually reads him his rights! Later, after Davis says that he didn't kill Roberts, his wife is taken to Five-0 headquarters. She asks for a lawyer, but instead totally falls apart and starts blabbing why she did it in front of the Five-0 team. Don't Americans really know about the Miranda decision?
With information from Jenna, McGarrett is discovering more about Wo Fat, who turns up near the end of the show for a tense confrontation in a Chinese noodle restaurant. Accompanied by Bourne-like music (also heard when Chin and Kono are investigating in the hotel room earlier), Wo tells McGarrett not to dig too deeply into the past, or he may not like what he sees. This was a very cool scene -- Wo Fat definitely needs more screen time!
- The name of this show was Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio which means "Heroes and Villains" ... a musical reference (the famous song by the Beach Boys) was overlooked ... someone is slipping!
- The name of the strip club where Johnny D hangs out is called "Club Femme Nu," meaning "Naked Woman Club," but this is not correct in French, it should be "Club Femme Nue."
- Johnny D's yellow Mustang gets trashed when he backs over some "severe tire damage" spiked teeth in the strip club's parking lot ... another slap at Ford.
- It's totally a coincidence that McGarrett picks the snow globe containing the memory card containing the video of Davis and Roberts from the stolen items in Johnny D's garage. When Kono analyzes this card, she says it has "54-bit encryption," which is highly unlikely, since encryption is usually in multiples of two, i.e., 16, 32, 64, etc. The card contains a video file named video3450.mov, which is an Apple, not Microsoft, format. Chin Ho should have remembered this snow globe, because it was on the list of stolen items that Davis's wife reported to the police as missing. How she or her trainer, who she enlisted to find what happened to this snow globe and card, was able to track down Johnny D is another question.
- When there is an innocent kid at the beginning of the show like this one, you know something really horrible is going to happen in a few seconds.
- The movie on the memory card showing Lindsey Roberts having sex with Davis was made on July 14, 2008. She disappeared four days after this, on July 18th. According to Chin Ho, her body was discovered 10 weeks later, or around September 26th. But the autopsy on Roberts was not held until October 27th.
- Jenna Kaye's CIA ID card expires on 12/31/2012. She has Security Clearance Level 2.
- A good line from Danno, referring to McGarrett as "Pacman in cargo pants."
- The police report of the items stolen from the Davis house is number 614-852 and dated 01/17/11. Aside from the $40,000 gold Rolex watch, it also lists a Seattle snowglobe, pearl necklace, block set of luggage, silver and diamond rings, Spanish antique coins, Video/HDTV 72" and a Microsoft 32" flat screen. This last item, from one of the show's sponsors, is kind of iffy. Microsoft is also referenced when Coroner Bergman uses the Bing search engine to show how he tracked down a chip of wood in Roberts' head to a baseball bat known as the Charleston Chipper.
- One of the items on Johnny D's stolen credit card is a charge for $2,155.62 at the Kinkirk Skate Shop.
- Cel phone records dating back three years are consulted as part of the investigation. Is this a realistic time frame?
- In Baker's hotel room, several real comic books are seen: Usagi Yojimbo, B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, The Goon -- Wicked Inclinations by Eric Powell and Grendel Behold the Devil.
Yet another two-part show which was sort of successful because of "family" issues in each part.
The show begins with Danno and McGarrett reliving the latter's childhood memories, climbing in the local hills to see some petroglyphs which McGarrett and his father used to check out many years before. McGarrett is much better equipped for the outing, including his MacGyver backpack containing rappelling gear and duct tape, among other things. The plot thickens quickly when McGarrett finds a body at the base of a nearby cliff. McGarrett has some kind of sixth sense regarding this body being where it is, because you can plainly see from the shot behind and above him that that he can NOT see this body until he actually goes to the edge of the cliff. While investigating, McGarrett is struck by rocks and falls down the cliff, breaking his arm. Danno is quick to summon help, and avoids the usual mindless chatter as a result.
The body belongs to Jack Leung (Joji Yoshida), a man who worked for Kinkirk Fishing Charters, a company co-owned by himself and his son Sean (James Kyson-Lee, like Masi Oka, from "Heroes"). Leung was recently arrested for an altercation with the scuzzy Sal Groves (Evan Jones) when he refused to get involved in Groves' meth dealing which involved the use of his boat. Although he doesn't seem like a geeky type of guy, a computer that Leung used is duly analyzed and reveals he was looking at web pages connected with Jordan Rutherford -- suspected, but never charged, in the "Spring Break Strangler" death some time before of Vicki Hailama, a young woman. Leung had a job moonlighting at High Blue Jet Charters, a local company (determined from some jet biofuel that he had on his clothing, blah blah blah), and recognized Rutherford when his father Donald (Wayne Duvall) hired a plane to take him out of the country to Hong Kong where the father had business connections through the Lotus Leaf Holding Company, an import outfit with real estate holdings. Leung was subsequently knocked off by the father, though how it was arranged to throw his body out of the plane to the spot where McGarrett found it is another question.
A bullet found in Leung's body (which passed through a relatively hard-to-find fish from his boat, identified by an ichthyologist friend of Chin Ho at the university - how convenient!) that leads to a guest appearance by local chef Masaharu Morimoto at his sushi restaurant is tracked to a gun owned by Rutherford. The Five-0 team go to Rutherford's father's house where the old man is in hiding in a basement room. When confronted by McGarrett and Danno, he blabs away (once again without a lawyer) about how his son was innocent and he knocked off Leung to keep his son's departure from the country a secret.
The second plot line has to do with Chin Ho's troubles with the police force over the money that he was suspected of stealing. It turns out that Chin took the fall for his uncle Keako (veteran actor Sab Shimono) who was the one who actually took the money ($200,000) to buy a black market kidney for his wife and Chin's aunt Mele (Elizabeth Sung), who is gravely ill. When Chin shows up at his uncle's house where family members have gathered to give the aunt their last respects, people give him weird looks.
There were major "Awwww" moments in this show, both between Kono, Chin and the auntie as well as between Five-0 and Leung's son and grandson. Let's face it, I'm a sucker for any show where Grace Park sheds a tear!
The photography in the show was above-average and the focus on ordinary people like Leung and his family was a nice change. The music was nothing special, and song at the end (which was R.E.M.'s Walk It Back, according to someone who contacted me about it) was cloying. Not because I have anything against this group or this song specifically, but because this was yet another blatant example of emotional manipulation (of which there have been several examples during the show's first season), telling you what to think.
- Kamakona picks McGarrett up from the hospital, where he has had his arm set in a cast. Later, one of the things seen written on it is "Waiola Shave Ice - Best on the Island." The license number on Kamekona's jeep is JBU 033.
- Chin uses the expression "Easy, easy...," heard said several times by Jack Lord in the original show.
- There is an incredible stunt when Danno and Chin Ho jump from the docks to Groves' boat as the dope dealer is trying to flee to open waters.
I quite liked this show (gee -- two weeks in a row!).
Guest star on this episode was Sean ("Diddy") Combs. He did a good job playing FBI agent Reggie Williams, on the trail of mainland crime boss Jimmy Cannon (Keith David) who comes to Hawaii to visit his son Richard (Hurshae Summons). At the beginning of the show, Williams' wife gets knocked off while he is visiting her in a "safe house." Williams himself is badly wounded, as is one of the FBI agents accompanying him. (The second agent is killed.) It's obvious that someone blabbed about Williams' arrival. The big question is who?
McGarrett and Danno go to confront Cannon, driving their car through the wooden gate at his son's estate, seemingly without causing any major damage to their car, and then throw a lot of baseless accusations against the crime boss. Getting nowhere, they then go after the shooters at the safe house, tracing one of them through the usual ridiculous enhancement techniques from video footage captured by security cameras. This guy turns out to be dead (suspected to be killed by Williams himself who has fled from his hospital bed to exact revenge on whoever killed his wife). The second shooter gets killed when he draws a gun on McGarrett, but the bullets in his gun -- tungsten-tipped, a trademark of Cannon's gang -- are shown to have less fire power than normal. Next in line in the suspects list is the leader of FBI task force, Allison Marsh (Cara Buono), who was conveniently away during the action at the safe house. Marsh is very hot-looking, but her life is problematic thanks to her ex-husband who was trying to abscond with their child. The final suspect is Art Newman (Nicholas G. Gianforti), the FBI agent who was wounded during the shootout, who caves in completely when questioned by McGarrett and threatened by Williams. He was the one that tipped off Cannon's son Richard about Williams' arrival for a princely fee. Richard's character was far too wimpy -- he looked like he was going to cry when McGarrett was grilling his dad earlier in the show. On the other hand, Keith David gave a great performance -- too bad he is a mainland crime boss, otherwise he could be the next Tony Alika.
Kono once again demonstrates her "magic power" with kids, specifically Williams' son Kevin (Kwesi Boakye), who witnessed his mother's murder, saying silly lines like how she is a special police agent to help moms who get hurt. This is a routine that should be toned down in the next season. On the positive side, the color of the photography (especially the usual "stock shots") in this episode was outstanding. I can't believe it took them 21 shows to finally get to this point. Unfortunately, the music was the usual cliché-ridden garbage. Danno was relatively subdued as well, which was also a good thing.
- Reggie mentions to his wife at the beginning of the show that he has been undercover working on the case against Cannon for six years. But later, McGarrett tells Cannon that it is only two years.
- McGarrett's arm is still in a cast from the previous episode, though he goes swimming, covering it with some kind of plastic wrap. Kamekona is seen making McGarrett a breakfast with lots of SPAM, something that McGarrett reacts to badly.
- Danno recognizes Cannon's name, saying he is into "guns, drugs, hijacking, labor and construction."
- While being interrogated, Marsh says she wants to speak to McGarrett's boss, to which the Five-O boss says in a line echoing one heard about Jack Lord's character in the original show: "I answer to God and to the Governor, neither of whom are going to help you out right now."
- Reggie borrows an HPD car (unit #5345) to use its computer (he seemingly can figure out how to use this quickly). A screen full of geeky server-like information shows a date of 31 Jan 2010. There are several names seen on a list of people who own a 1996 Ford Explorer, the car used by the shooters at the beginning of the show: Emily Kinkirk, Lucille Lipsger, Jan Ladchovich, Rosa Provazoli, Joan Quichera, Susan Roscommons, Rolf Sternwig, Felix Tamiston, Sachiko Tolchuck, Adin Pukahi (the last later identified as one of the shooter suspects), Akira Tahahamo, Ivan Turgenian, Steven Waynecroft, Rachel Weisenstock and Jon Zuggler, as well as some others which are not clear: Emil Finnyenglass, Gregory Gananovic, Tatiana Graybridge, Ralph Jandenman and Akiko Jenlove. Note another swipe at Ford, the old sponsor of the show, since it is the car driven by the "bad guys." Pukahi's address is 1557 Uane Street, Waipahu, HI 96797 (this is the correct area code for that city); his date of birth is 03/03/70, and his driver's license, which is S914-614-40-943-0 expires 03/03/12. Pukahi got a ticket on 10/02/06 for failure to obey a stop sign.
- McGarrett suggests that Cannon's son will get the death penalty because of his connection to the murder of an FBI agent, but, once again, there is no death penalty in Hawaii.
Rick Springfield stars as fashion photographer Renny Sinclair, who doesn't survive past the main titles. He is trapped in his trailer with a bicycle lock on the door, and the trailer is set on fire, resulting in a dramatic explosion. Considering the door of the trailer is facing the beach where the photo shoot was going on, it's interesting that no one sees who is responsible, not only starting the fire, but dropping a fancy lighter into the gas can.
There are a couple of suspects among the hot supermodels that Renny was photographing, the first his former girlfriend Jordan (Angela Lindvall), the second his current one, Alana (Serinda Swan), who was expecting to marry him and is pregnant with his child. When interviewed by Danno and McGarrett and Danno respectively, the two have conflicting stories.
Later, Danno finds phone records that suggest Renny was gambling big time and running into serious debt with local bookie Derek Marcum (Andy Trask), who Chin Ho busted several years before. Marcum drives a Porsche, and I started screaming at the TV in the scene where they are looking at a surveillance photo of his car taken near the crime scene. From far above, they zoom in and manage to see his license plate number which is conveniently bent up a bit, a gimmick straight out of the old's show's tenth season episode (one of the very worst) "When Does A War End?" To top this off, they then zoom in on Marcum himself, even though he isn't clearly visible in the long shot at all, an extension of the techniques used in the old show where somehow you could take a picture (often a very bad picture) and blow it up so that it would clearer than the original.
Kono is teamed up with forensics expert Charlie Fong (shades of Che, from the old show) who has a mysterious connection to her past, namely a party when they were very young and played spin-the-bottle. The two of them trace the gasoline used to incinerate Renny from a Lex Brodie gas station (a real company).
Meanwhile, Chin Ho is conflicted over the Internal Affairs hearing regarding the $200,000 which was stolen from the police evidence locker and was used to buy his now deceased aunt a bootleg kidney. Chin tells the IA panel that he was he one who stole the money, despite the fact his uncle, who stole it, told him to tell the truth -- the implication being that if the uncle is connected with the theft, then all of the past convictions of crooks he put in jail will be called into question. When the head of the panel tells Chin that this is odd, because there is no evidence that the money ever was used, Chin says that he never spent it. As a result, the panel tells him to produce the money ASAP.
With the help of Kamekona, who owes Marcum money, McGarrett and Danno get the attention of a couple of the bookie's thugs. When the two guys try to escape, Danno and McGarrett chase after them, jumping over cars and picnic tables. Danno somehow manages to get ahead of the guy he is chasing so he can throw hot coals from a hibachi in his face. The next scene is kind of dumb, when Steve and Danno take the two guys back to the bookie joint to talk to their boss, and it says on the screen "Marcum's House - Kahala." Like where else were they going?
More investigation by Danno reveals that Rennie left a large amount of money in trust to a "Pauline Lucero," who it's determined is the daughter of a model that the photographer was involved with many years before. This "Pauline Lucero" turns out to be "Amy" (Andrea Bowen), a gofer at the photography shoot who torched her father because he failed to support her mother when she got sick and died, oblivious to the fact that her father really did want to take care of her.
At the end of the show, there are suggestions that Kono and Charlie may get romatically involved; on the other hand, Chin Ho, desperate to replace the $200,000, offers the deed of his house to the sleazy bookie Marcum who, like both McGarrett and Danno, is very much in need of a shave..
Overall, I liked this episode, because it was pretty logical. The photography and scenery in this episode were again outstanding, though I wish the camera would sit still. The music was less obnoxious than usual. The scene with McGarrett and Alana on the beach, which had several crucial elements vital to understanding the plot, was difficult to understand because of the sound mix. Danno's OCD chatter was not much in evidence, and there was only one car ride with rear projection, which was brief.
- At the beginning of the show, Kono is called to work while taking part in activities organized by the Mauli Ola organization, a real-life outfit that introduces surfing as a natural treatment to people with genetics disorders, particularly cystic fibrosis. One of the people from this organization is the kapu boss Ka Wika (Kala Alexander), who we met in episode six. The sign at the Mauli Ola event says "Welcome kaiki," which means "children."
- Renny's phone records are full of references to a bogus number, 888-555-9100 and his financial statements look like they contain two credit card numbers similar to Visa and Mastercard -- 4556 6783 9560 0277 and 5404 2247 2421 8074.
- Kono shows Charlie the OnStar MyLink app, connected with sponsor General Motors cars, on her smartphone. According to one WWW site, Kono has an Android phone but the app is from the Iphone platform.
- Marcum's HPD file number is 745964.
- The money Renny left in trust for his daughter totalled $291,570, which was the amount, including inflation, to raise a child born in 2008 to adulthood, as announced by the USDA in August, 2009. Considering Pauline (a.k.a. Amy) was born September 16, 1985, the math is a bit skewed.
- According to their driver's licenses, Amy's mother Shannon (now deceased) was born March 13, 1965 and her license was for the period February 26, 2008-February 26, 2012. Pauline's was for the period September 9, 2009-September 9, 2013. The address for both women was 86 Bella Fortuna, Milan, Italy.
Another exercise in "not the usual suspects," this was a good show, though the quality of the photography (yellowish, not crisply focused) and, as usual, the mediocre music were disappointing.
At the beginning of the show, McGarrett and the SWAT team break into a safe house, assuming that they will capture Wo Fat. Instead they encounter the people smuggler Sang Min. No explanation for his having escaped from prison is offered until later in the show when Kamekona says words to the effect that he broke out "a few months ago." There is a spectacular explosion in the doorway of the safe house which wipes out the cops breaking down the door, the first of many stunts in this show. Sang Min manages to elude the Five-0 team, escaping into a house three doors down which conveniently is where the major plotline for the show begins. There Danno finds a man who is dead on the floor, and, soon after, Danno starts to feel the effects of the toxic chemical sarin, which was in some milk that the dead man had ingested and was splashed on the floor. After he is rushed to the hospital, Jenna Kaye, who also conveniently had experience with the CIA division that concerned itself with toxic chemicals, says that Danno likely absorbed the sarin when he touched the dead man's neck to feel for a pulse. (This is the subject of some debate; sarin can also be inhaled.) She tells McGarrett that sarin brokers are "looking for new customers," and that it is easily available on the black market.
The dead man is identified as Amoka Mulitalo (uncredited actor), and when the owners of the property, Jeff and Sheila Fallon, are questioned about him, they have no idea who he is. Both Fallons were supposed to return to Hawaii a week before, but their plans got changed. Attention turns to Gabriel Delgado (Kelvin Yu), their caretaker, who was recently fired for writing checks to himself with Fallon's money. Delgado, a man with a history of violence, is tracked down by Chin and Kono at the Downbeat Diner, a real place located at 42 N Hotel St. Captured after trying to escape, Delgado says that he stole the money to pay for medical treatment for his son who has leukemia. He knows nothing about the sarin in the milk container, or even what sarin is. Mulitalo is a drifter who he met at the clinic where he took his son for medical treatment. Delgado let Mulitalo crash at the house.
A spare key that Mulitalo used to let himself into the house reveals a fingerprint from Eliot Connor (James Remar, the father from Dexter), Fallon's brother-in-law, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Fallon's multinational manufacturing company named Fallon Global. There have been recent news releases about trouble between Connor and Fallon over cost overruns at a facility in China, which led to rumours that Connor was about to be dismissed from his position. McGarrett gets Connor to admit that he was using the house as a love shack while having an affair with Chloe Ballantine (Bre Blair), his secretary.
Although there are suggestions that Jenna is on the outs with the CIA, she manages to get someone at the head office to analyze the sarin, and it's determined that it is connected with a terror group in Chechnya. Another nice coincidence, one of the group's members, Mikhail Yursky (a second uncredited actor!) arrived in Honolulu five days ago. Kono determines that under the alias of Lev Nikolaevich, Yursky is using a credit card and has a flight (EJ 924) booked to Sibu, Borneo on Suva Airlines (seat A 15 in business (first) class, non smoking, fish meal). In an incredible scene, Kono manages to tap into an ATM machine where Yursky is attempting to withdraw money. McGarrett and Chin Ho surprise him at the ATM, but Yursky flees and soon commits suicide with the sarin. In the trunk of his car, they find 36 metal canisters which are known for use in transporting sarin and other dangerous chemicals.
These canisters lead to their manufacturer, Fallon's company (another coinkydink!), where two and two are put together, and Connor is confronted with phone calls which Yursky made to the office a few days before. When he tells Five-0 that he was out of town on the days the calls were taken, suspicion falls on the secretary Chloe, who attempts to flee. She is caught in the parking garage and shortly after admits (once again someone blabbing without a lawyer) that after Yursky's request to purchase the canisters was turned down because of government regulations, she somehow arranged for him to buy them for a price (exactly how is not stated) and also arranged for him to plant sarin in Fallon's house to kill both Jeff and Sheila (how and when the sarin was actually brought into Hawaii is also not stated). The idea here was, when Connor divorced his wife, the two of them would live happily ever after.
There are a couple of subplots in the show. The main one is Danno getting poisoned, which results in several "Awww" moments with him and his daughter Gracie and his ex-wife Rachel. Danno confides to McGarrett near the end of the show that Rachel's marriage is not working out too well and they have been seeing each other for a while. Chin Ho also has to face the music over the $200,000 which he returned to the cops, thinking that the serial numbers on the bills were untraceable. This was a ruse set up by HPD, who knew the serial numbers all along, and they do not match those on the bills which Chin got from Marcum, the money launderer.
The show ends with Sang Min appearing at Five-0 headquarters, telling them that he will co-operate in any way to nail Wo Fat, who is coming after him ... and then McGarrett.
- Danno's daughter Gracie attends the Academy of the Sacred Hearts, a real institution in Honolulu. When visiting Danno in the hospital, Gracie is seen playing Angry Birds on some device (possibly a smartphone), but she is holding it in the portrait, rather than landscape mode. Later, Gracie is seen watching Spongebob Squarepants on TV in the hospital room.
- Sang Min phones McGarrett's cel phone directly. How does he know this number?
- The Fallon residence where the sarin was in the fridge is located at 1408 Paulona Avenue, Honolulu 96734. Jeff and Sheila both have drivers' licenses with the address of 4317 Launfel Street, Los Angeles 90038. Jeff is 6'1", 180 lb., blond hair, blue eyes, and his date of birth is 04-15-56. HIs license expires 04-15-15. Sheila is 5'6", 135 pounds, also with blonde hair and blue eyes, her birthdate is 09-24-60. Her license expires 09-24-16. Their licenses both have a line 06/30/2009 66326 FD/14 at the bottom. Elliot Connor's date of birth according to some securities-related web site, is 01/18/1962.
- McGarrett suggests to Chloe during his grilling of her at the end of the show that her plan was to make the cops think the sarin in Fallon's house was part of a "terrorist attack." But was Fallon's company really that "global" that it would warrant this kind of treatment from terrorists?
- Yursky has a high-living credit card history in Honolulu, using the card 4552 7204 1234 5678 (similar to Visa):Kinkirk Gas Station ...... $32.92 Debit ATM ................ $80.00 Hotel Graybridge ......... $1194.63 Juices by Jenloe ......... $38.82 Tolchuck Service Station . $923.39 Stirring Cup Coffee ...... $55.62 RT Location 57674 [?] .... $636.94 Hotel Graybridge ......... $500.00 Debit ATM ................ $200.00 Provozolli's Pizza ....... $66.39 CP Debit ATM ............. $1000.00 Kinkirk Gas Station ...... $55.87 Air Suva - Flight 7255 ... $1223.75 Zuggler's Restaurant ..... $50.50 Debit Charge ............. $424.50
- Danno uses the expression "coconut wireless" when he tells Kamekona, visiting in the hospital, to try and find where Sang Min is hiding.
- No tourist shots at the beginning of the show -- I liked this!
The season finale was another kick ass episode featuring Wo Fat, highly reminiscent of cliffhangers for "24" and similar shows. I had predicted earlier that either the Governor (Jean Smart) or her assistant Laura Hills (Kelly Hu) would bite the bullet ... but I was only half right. (Both actresses are involved with other shows next season.) Hills was blown to smithereens with a Claymore mine rigged in her car in the opening scene, which was later tracked to arms dealer Dale O'Reilly (Val Lauren), a defense contractor who sold the device to "McGarrett." A suggestion of some romantic interest between Hills and Chin Ho, combined with the redeveloping relationship between Danno and his wife (who revealed she was pregnant), suggested there was a considerable time gap between this and the previous show. There was also the unexplained issue of why Chin Ho was being reinstated at the beginning and seemingly forgiven. Chief Makaha (Kelvin Han Yee), who was offering Chin his badge back, reinstated with the position of lieutenant in HPD, was far too nice about it, saying that the way Chin handled the issue of the money his uncle stole "showed character." The plot thickens quickly, because McGarrett is being set up big time, his fingerprints found all over Hills' house, where he has never been. Hills is revealed to be the one sending McGarrett clues relating to his father's murder taken from the toolbox stolen earlier from his house by Hiro Nishimuri and his yakuza pals. The last clue McGarrett gets before Hills' death is a key to an antique dresser, something that the Governor just happens to have in her office that McGarrett spies when he and Danno visit her. This motivates McGarrett to break into the Governor's place to get into this dresser (complete with a closeup of the lock from inside). Later, after he is accused of Hills' murder by the Governor and nearly arrested by HPD, McGarrett breaks into the mansion again, overpowering four security guards, and then confronts the Governor in a very tense scene. He is then knocked out by Wo Fat with a taser, who shoots the Governor and makes it look like McGarrett did it. At the end, not only is McGarrett busted, but Kono as well, for her participation in stealing the money from the police evidence locker several shows earlier. With Chin Ho now working back at HPD (and in charge of arresting his former boss), only Danno, who has been the "voice of reason" in the episode, is left to try and make things right next season. The photography for this show was exceptional, especially the outdoor shots, and there were some very nice shots of Danno and McGarrett indoors like at Five-O headquarters and in the governor's office, with the sunlight from outside filtering through. I had a good laugh at the music when McGarrett was snooping through the desk in the Governor's office. There were a couple of loud plucked harp notes and tremolo violins -- exactly like on Lost! In fact, during the scene, the level of suspense really reminded me of that show.
- The scene where McGarrett drives his father's Mercury Marquis (the iconic car from the original show) through downtown Honolulu didn't make much sense. Where was he going? This car would stick out like a sore thumb!
- In a dossier that McGarrett hands to the Governor, the page with Wo Fat (case #029-48-011/HI) reveals the archvillain is 46 years old, 5'10" and weighs 170 pounds. It goes into detail about his work history: CHINESE MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY -- Engaged in counterintelligence, the collection of secrets and technology from other countries, and repressing internal dissent; INTELLIGENCE AGENT OF CHINESE MSS -- Responsible for gathering information on foreign weapons systems; COUNTER INTELLIGENCE AT THE 6TH BUREAU -- Prevent hostile or enemy intelligence organizations from successfully gathering and collecting intelligence. LAST RANK ACHIEVED: COLONEL. We get Wo Fat's official description (2010 style) from McGarrett: "An international arms dealer with deep ties to the Japanese yakuza." The dossier also has sections on Victor Hesse and Sang Min.
- The arrest warrant for McGarrett shows his birthday as 3/10/1977, height as 6'1", 190 pounds, blue eyes, brown hair. Benita Lee points out that in episode #11, Palekaiko, McGarrett clearly states that his mother died when he was 16 years old. He and Chin even mention the date of her death: April 19, 1992. According to the arrest warrant, he was only 15 years old at the time of his mother's death.
- Danno quote: "Out of the top 10 dopiest suggestions you've ever had, this [McGarrett wanting to break into the Governor's mansion] is number one with a bullet." (Perhaps a reference to the episode of the old show?)
- Laura Hills' car which gets blown up has the license number FQ47 J6.
- O'Reilly's driver's license, number 7294A21Q743, shows his date of birth to be 12/29/1980. He lives at 1807 Halekana Street, Honolulu 96818.
- Laura Hills' datebook that Danno and McGarrett examine is from 2011.
- Danno tells Kono "don't say anything" as she is taken away by the internal affairs cops, and Chin Ho gives McGarrett the standard Miranda warning.
JUMP TO ANOTHER SEASON:
NEW FIVE-0 (2010-?):
CLASSIC FIVE-O (1968-1980):
RETURN TO THE HAWAII FIVE-O HOME PAGE