I feel robbed. As in robbed by a burglar, but thankfully not shanghaied like a pirate. The whole build up to the episode was that we’ll see pirates- the scourge of the seas, maiming and pillaging poor hapless tourists and locals. And not just any pirates, Tongan pirates, the worst of the bunch! Much more worse than the Samoan, Fijian and Micronesian pirates. Abandon all hope all ye who ply the Hawaiian waters!
Alas, piracy was nothing but a red herring for the viewers and the Five-0 team, from the mind of writer Joe Halpin (who I hear is a former police officer). Piracy was the cover for an elaborate kidnapping and ransom plot, concocted by former boy band front man Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees as Tyler, and his conniving fiancee Susan, played by Vanessa Minnillo.
What saved the somewhat predictable plot was the dialog, photography and some unpredictable moments. I loved the cargument that Danny and McG had outside of the Mercury Marquis, while pushing the monstrous car (formerly belonging to Jack Lord) up the hill. Danny was on a roll further along the episode, busting Kamekona’s chops: “Waitaminute, did he just say training bra?”. We definitely heard a lot of the Danny dialog that we got used to at the beginning of the series, which was toned down just a little during the middle stretch of the season.
The guest stars shined, with Vanessa Minnillo doing a great job of playing the hapless victim and sneaky conspirator. Nick Lachey however wasn’t given enough to run with, seemingly anyone could have played that role. My favorite character though was Saloni “I’m Mr. Aloha”, played by Native American actor Branscombe Richmond. He definitely had the local look, attitude and dialect down. Notable also was actor Ray Wise, of “Twin Peaks” fame (no Laura Palmer was not on the party boat).
I think the director of photography may have taken a few pages out of the Jerry Bruckheimer/CSI Miami playbook. The ocean scenes showed deep blues, and the day scenes glowed a gorgeous yellow. The show still does make Hawaii look good. Noticed how the interior of the warehouse floor (the money exchange scene) was wet? A trademark Bruckheimer signature gimmick.
The best scene in the episode was McG’s and Danny’s attempt to sweet talk the pawn shop owner in giving in to an unwarranted search. McG has been definitely channeling his inner Schwarzenegger lately, with Predator mud face paint and traps, and Commando attitude last week. This week we get The Terminator:
McG: I’ll be back.
Danny: I’ll be back!?!? What are you gonna do, drive a car through here…?!?
Of course he comes back with a grenade from the glove box (don’t we all keep one there?) and demolishes the door. Door opened, problem solved. Next week, the writers might lighten up the mood and pull references from “Kindergarten Cop” or “Twins”.
The coolest stunt executed was when Justin Sundquist (Alex’s stunt double) vaulted through the warehouse window, then jumped from the trunk of a car to a trolley pulling away, resulting in McG getting off three shots lying down, hitting Tyler square in the chest. If that isn’t badass, I don’t know what is.
So I enjoyed the episode. The clever dialog, extra guest star power and the photography elevated what could have been an average episode to a pretty good episode. A lot of people on the net have been stating all day that while it was a good stand alone episode, it definitely wouldn’t be one of their favorites of the season.
ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHH there pirates in Hawaii?
Thankfully, pirates do not ply the waters of Hawaii, and I want all of you who’ve emailed me that you’re coming here to know that you will not be hijacked while on a pleasure cruise, fishing trip or dinner cruise.
99.999% of the people of Hawaii will embrace you, welcome you and go out of their way to help you visitors out…but Saloni the Tongan pirate confessed something that local criminals believe: “I rob people. People who could afford to take the loss. Rich tourists who have no respect for these islands. I rip them off, but I don’t hurt them.” Criminals use this ridiculous excuse to target those visiting these islands, people who we invite, and quite honestly it makes me sad and ashamed. Because we are the Aloha state, American and international tourists victimized by crime do have assistance, even if they’ve lost everything and are thousands of miles away from home- the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii. This non profit group’s sole purpose is to help tourists in need, which reinstills my pride in the people of Hawaii.
And now, Things We Learned About Hawaii From Hawaii Five-0, Episode 17, “Powa Maka Moana”:
1) There ARRH no pirates in Hawaii (I’m gonna beat that joke till the end, folks).
2) Grenades are more effective for executing searches than a warrant, so just open the door next time for the nice officer holding the grenade.
Did you notice…?
Actor Cody Gomes (Moku the bartender) had a small part in “Lost” as a Swan station construction worker who’s big line was “What’s the serial number for this hatch?” (thanks @hawaii for the tip).
The pawn store was also used as the “HOFFS DRAWLAR Funeral Parlor” for John Locke’s service in “Lost”.
Actor Taylor Wiley (Kamekona) actually did dabble in sumo and mixed martial arts earlier in his career.
McG and Danno were pushing the car up Round Top Drive and were at Tantalus lookout, not the Pali Highway as Danno stated.
McG and Danno met Kamekona in front of the Hale Koa hotel, a military hotel, which explains why men and women in military uniform were walking by. This of course is unlikely in actuality since they would be on vacation and not on duty.
The cut scene of lava hitting the ocean is from the Big Island, Volcanoes National Park. In the same cut scene, we see all the other water sports Hawaii has: boating, fishing , parasailing.
“Powa maka moana” literally translates to “one who steals on the ocean”, or simply, “pirate”.