Quick action, fast pace, balanced story
Much like “Kai E’e”, “E Malama” was quickly paced with tension running from start to finish. Not even Danny’s side story of helping Rachel, Stan and Grace slowed the tempo, in fact his investigation to help Stan accelerated the story even more. From the assassination of the marshal at the beginning, to the hunt through the woods, to the final chase and fight at the Federal court building, this episode kept charging to the finish line.
I noticed a few stylistic changes with the direction and teleplay…there were a lot of quick zoom ins and zoom outs which visually heightened the action. The best visual touch was being able to see Julie’s (Mariana Klaveno) horrified reaction to the marshal’s murder, while we the viewers saw the same scene played out through the reflection in the glass. It was a subtle play that caught all the action without cutting away from Julie at all.
Speaking of Mariana, I was so used to seeing her as the sexy, sultry and psychotic Lorena from True Blood, that I was amazed at how differently she came across as another character. Julie showed enough toughness to fight off the assassins, but also showed vulnerability and determination in her dialogs with Chin Ho.
To make another comparison, this episode was just as balanced as “He Kane Kewa’ole”, where all team members had their time to shine. McG did his SEAL thing and took out the assassin tracking him; Kono gleamed when she stuck it to the lawyer (played by real life attorney Michael Green) by spelling out her name, and on top of that she also gets props for kicking fake blondeie’s butt in the unexpected girl fight at the end; Chin Ho showed that he’s a hell of a lot more useful than piecing together broken electronics…his actions alone kept Julie safe from harm. Is this a foreshadowing of him rescuing an ex-fiancee in the future…? We’ll see! Aside from that, Scott Caan showed us again why he was nominated for a Golden Globe with the powerful scene in the restaurant kitchen, stamping his badge on the Housing Commissioner’s head, telling him to get the number off the imprint. The scene was very Soprano-esque, with Caan playing out the Jersey attitude and swagger, and I really felt like he loved his daughter to the point of doing some serious bodily harm to anyone who touched her.
The writers are doing a better job of balancing out the parts that each member play in recent episodes. The first half of the season established the individual characters, and now we’re seeing the team continue to gel together. Granted, I still would like to see a few more Kono-centric stories, and Chin’s name needs to be cleared, but in all the balanced stories are working well.
What I found a little disappointing is that the writers seemed to have slowed down with Rachel and Danny’s relationship. Like Chin Ho, I thought the two of them were getting along better, but Stan’s (Mark Deklin) first appearance might have shifted Rachel’s priorities back to her husband and not her ex. Are Stan’s dealings more sinister than pinning corruption on a city official? How will that relationship end, in order to bring Danny back into the family…or is Danny our tragic hero, never to be united with his family again? Danny gives her one long glance before getting in his car, not the wistful stare he did in the rear view mirror the last time they were together, so I’m sure somehow they’ll get closer.
Why this just might be the awesomest episode so far
As a guy, I got a kick out of watching the jungle chase…I mean seriously, it had all the elements of the best action movies of the 1980s.
And when Jones (Sebastian Siegel) takes the log to the gut, I expected this to happen:
But indeed, McG is a true badass, for who else would stare down a pickup truck coming at him at a high speed and taking the driver out with a few quick shots from his pistol?
And now, Things We Learned About Hawaii From Hawaii Five-0, Episode 16, “E Malama”
1) Coco puffs from Liliha Bakery ARE THE BOMB! You haven’t lived if you haven’t had one of their deliciously addicting pastries. Liliha Bakery also happens to be the diner where Kate visits her mother in “Lost” to tell her that she “took care of everything.”
2) Hawaii is like the wild west…not! Contrary to the defense and prosecuting attorneys, we do not have a death penalty. Nor did we ever have legalized gambling (referenced in “Malama Ka Aina”).
Did you notice…?
Kono must be using her super Cylon eyesight to determine that the one tiny fingerprint on the glass pane was Julie’s.
Duke Lukela appeared again in another small role in the HPD office, played by Dennis Chun, son of the original Chin Ho Kelly, Kam Fong Chun.
The Original Pancake House, where Danny roughed up the commish makes great breakfasts.
Alright so Julie wasn’t hiding in a Dharma cave, the Others or (Ewoks for that matter) didn’t come out of the woods, nor did the Black Smoke Monster go chasing our heroes. But it would have been cool. Most of us were having flashbacks of “Lost” with Jin (Daniel Dane Kim) and Erik the Other (Sebastian Siegel) romping through the woods.
Another deep thought…does McG “go commando” when he goes Commando?
Last question…who would win in a vampire battle royale…Mick St. John or Lorena Krasiki?