Things We Learned About Hawaii From Hawaii Five-0, S2 Ep 1 “Ha’i’ole”
Getting back in gear
Last year’s final episode closed out with the Five-0 team in shambles. McGarrett storms the Governor’s mansion to confront Governor Jameson in order to clear his name. But through a surprise twist, Wo Fat frames him for the Governor’s murder. He’s arrested by Chin Ho who seems to have turned his back on the Five-0 team to join the HPD. Kono finds herself under investigation for the missing money from the evidence locker, and Danny was on the verge of leaving the island altogether.
How do you top that?
Executive producers Peter Lenkov, Bob Orci, and writers managed to deliver a high paced episode that charges forward and picks up where season one left off. The first five minutes before the opening credits wowed viewers and guaranteed that we were going to be in for one hell of a ride.
The episode opened beautifully, showing the Five-0 team members coping with the team’s break up in their own way…Kono out on the water, Danny reaching out to Steve’s former trainer Lt. Cdr. Joe White (Terry O’Quinn) and Chin attending the funeral of Governor Jameson.
Cut to Halawa Prison with a swoon worthy shot of McG’s prison workout. He’s called to the prison yard for a visitor. But it’s Victor Hesse who appears, striding purposefully out into the courtyard. The ensuing fight between our hero and the villain left the SOTB audience on edge, and a huge gasp escaped from them as Victor plunged the shiv into McGarrett.
But it doesn’t stop there! Despite being suspended, Kono gets involved in the investigation. She manages to kick Wo Fat’s bodyguard’s (MMA fighter Egan Inoue) butt using nothing but leg. That’s right. All. Leg. With the help of Lt. Cdr. White, she even eliminates the arms dealer with her pistol, but only because he was a few feet out of a proper leg drop.
The episode slowed down only a few times, and with perfect purpose. McG seeks shelter at Dr. Max Berman’s apartment (played by series regular Masi Oka). With Max thrown into the mix, the banter has the potential for a lot more laughs. How ambitious are the writers to throw in a Muppet, Star Wars and Star Trek reference into one scene? Masi channels his inner Egon Spengler and steals the scene with his lines, “Technically speaking Yoda didn’t have telepathic abilities.”
I do have one bone I have to pick; I’m not a big fan of writers fast forwarding the storyline with narration. I’m talking about Joe White giving the rundown on the Japanese medal, John McGarrett, Mokoto, all in a span of a few minutes. I understand that telling a story in 45 minutes requires certain liberties, and this is one of them. The huge message communicated in this scene is that McGarrett is continually learning things about his father that he never knew.
Last season, Steve lost his father, and tracking down the murderer became his sole motivation. He managed to fill the void of his loss with his sister Mary Ann (Taryn Manning) and his Five-0 ohana. But the introduction of Lt. Cdr. Joe White into the story adds a refreshing dynamic to the story- McGarrett has gained a father figure to look up to. The big tell of this new relationship is Joe’s favorite term of endearment for Steve- “son”. There’s no one better to assume that role than the man who trained McG how to fight and survive. This season will be interesting in that McG will learn more about his father through the eyes and memories of Joe White, as they both slowly unravel the murders of Steve’s parents. I have a feeling that White knows more than he’s leading on…
The new Five-0 Ohana
I loved the scene where the newly reassembled Five-0 team and their support members are sitting around the conference table. This is the new cast of characters for season 2 perfectly framed for us fans…our four main heroes, their informant Kamekona and their newfound friend Max Bergman. We have yet to meet Lori Weston (Lauren German), but being placed on the team by the Lt. Governor, I have a feeling that she won’t be so welcome to the group at first.
Someone slips off the sheet cover off the magic table, someone else pops the tops off some Kona Longboard lager, they joke around about employment opportunities for Kono, and all seems to be fine.
Well, almost fine. Kono still needs to face the Internal Affairs investigator (Tom Sizemore), and Danny seems to be distracted by Rachel’s return to Stan.
Speaking of which, one thing that has been bothering me (although I’m not motivated to picketing or petitions just yet) is the sudden and quick explanation about Rachel’s return. According to Danny, Rachel misjudged the term of her pregnancy, which I interpreted to mean that the baby is not Danny’s, but Stan’s after all. Danny knocking up his ex-wife who was still married to another man, caused great consternation to many in the fandom, some of whom were very vocal to Peter via the social media. I myself was neither offended nor disappointed, but just took it to be another milestone in the story, and one more dramatic conflict that the characters needed to overcome. Not so long ago, a pregnant Rachel thought she was going to escape the island with the father of her child. But having since found out that the baby was conceived with her husband, she does a complete 180 and moves back to the island to work it out with him. This sudden turn of events may be interpreted as the writer’s attempt to extract themselves from an unpopular story development. Then again, maybe it’s Danny’s after all…but can the characters and the fandom survive this emotional yo-yo? All of this is speculative, so we’ll see what happens.
And who would have thought…
In his own words, Victor Hesse said that he was a loose end that Wo Fat needed to tie up, so no one should be surprised that Wo Fat got to him. But who would have thought that Jenna Kaye was complicit in all of this?
Now before you non-fans of Jenna start high fiving each other on the righteousness of your clairvoyance, consider the following fact. Would the writers get us so emotionally invested with Jenna, the story of her fiancé, and her cute quirkiness, just to have her be a mole for Wo Fat? I think it’s got to be a lot deeper than that. Wo Fat has somehow leveraged something against Jenna, and she’s an unwilling accessory to all of this. Could her fiancé still be alive, but held hostage by Wo Fat…?
And now, Things We Learned About Hawaii From Hawaii Five-0, “Ha’i’ole”
Despite their best efforts, the braddahs of HPD get easily taken down by Navy SEALS, New York City policemen (“Ho’opa’i”), and hired assassins (“E malama”).
Hawaii is still beautifully saturated in blues and greens!
Did you notice…?
The Honolulu Boy Choir sang “Hawaii Pono’i” the state anthem at Governor Jameson’s funeral.
The primary ingredient of a dirty bomb is lime Kool-Aid.
“Ha’i’ole” is Hawaiian for “unbreakable”, referring to Danny’s pompadour.
Update: Thanks for all the comments Agents! I haven’t been able to read through them all, but someone brought this up to me. How did the video which cleared McGarrett end up on an SD card get into a locker *after* both Laura Hills and John McGarrett were killed? Moreover, there’s usually only one key to these kinds of lockers, McGarrett being the only one with it. Those are the only two people who we know were helping McG? Hmm….?
Update: Did you notice…?
Mokoto lives on “Pu’u Ikena Drive” which is actually on Hawaii Loa Ridge, between the filming locations of the Bayer Estate (McGarrett’s house) and the Summer Street house (Rachel and Stan’s house). Lots of McMansions up there. In the episode, Mount Tantalus (or simply Tantalus) is the given location.
Max’s keychain has a Star Trek “USS Enterprise” miniature. The sequel to the rebooted Star Trek film franchise is produced by Hawaii Five-0 producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.
Max’s car is a VW “Thing”, one of the ugliest cars ever made. “WARP 9” on the license plate refers to the fastest possible speed that a warp drive engine can achieve in the Star Trek universe. And you’re probably not so shocked that I didn’t have to google that warp information. [NERD POWERS, ACTIVATE!]
Joe White told Chin, Steve and Danny to go after the boat while he “covers” Kono. That’s the Five-0 equivalent of Velma, Scoob and Shaggy going one way, and Fred and Daphne going the other. Plus, he didn’t have to run as far or as fast. Win!