An episode with a lot of “firsts”!
The first official new team member
Fans were eagerly awaiting this episode all week long. But it wasn’t with the same excitement for the season 2 premiere, but more of a nervous trepidation, like going up that long incline of a rollercoaster, the agonizing pause at the top, and then the long plunge downhill. You’ll either experience the sudden rush of exhilaration, or you’ll find yourself revisiting your lunch. The only thing that could cause this kind of commotion in the fandom is the introduction of Officer Lori Weston, the new addition to the Five-0 team.
Lieutenant Governor Denning‘s introduction of Lori serves two purposes. Primarily, the LG feels that the Five-0 team needs to be reigned in after running roughshod over every law on the books under Governor Jameson’s watch. Secondly, Officer Weston fills in the void recently vacated by Officer Kono Kalakaua who is currently under investigation by HPD’s Internal Affairs.
Personally, I loved Laura German’s portrayal of the character. Lori’s “cute” (according to Danny), “attractive” (according to Steve), intelligent, experienced and definitely not bashful about expressing herself, especially to McGarrett. We’ve seen Danny and Steve banter back and forth, but Lori brings a new dimension to the team dynamic, and with her snide “How long have you two been married?” comment, it seems she’ll fit right into the group.
Officer Weston did everything that a new team member should do in the first go around with an established team. She followed orders, she supported the team in solving the case, she asserted her value, and she even took down a few of the bad guys herself. This was a gentle introduction of what she can do for the Five-0 team, and hopefully in the future, we’ll see her drop-kicking and leg-dropping bad guys while having her hands bound (yes, I still have the image of Kono doing that ingrained in my head from last week).
The “Woman’s Day” magazine dialog, and the mutually admiring glances suggest that there might be just be an under-the-covers operation in Lori’s and Steve’s future, but we’ll have to see what Peter Lenkov has in store (Gah! What’s gonna happen to Lt. Rollins?!?). Alex mentioned in an interview at Sunset on the Beach that “every man” has needs, so we’ll see if we delve deeper into Steve’s personal life.
The first time on another island
I love that Peter Lenkov and crew made good on the promise that they’d start filming on other islands. It’s no easy task to move an entire production team to film on a neighbor island, but each island is unique from the others. The sweeping aerial shots caught Lana’I at its finest. Granted, the production team did take some artistic license- the fight at the compound was filmed at a Waialua ranch on O’ahu.
The first appearance of Tom Sizemore
Tom’s first appearance in Five-0 left an impression. As Captain Fryer, he’s intimidating, overbearing and immediately unlikeable…and Tom is perfect for the part. Fryer strikes me as someone who is out to do his job, and whether it wins or loses him any friends is irrelevant.
On that note, I’m liking where Kono’s storyline is going. We’ve finally seeing more vulnerability to her character and Grace Park plays it well. I don’t think the writers gave Grace a lot of material in season 1, and since it looks like season 2 is a lot about Kono’s career falling apart, we’ll see a lot more of Grace.
The first time in the countryside
I give the writers a standing ovation for trying something completely different. They take our heroes out of the city for half the episode and drop them on the back roads of Lana’i. Seeing the Jersey boy, Danny on horseback was quite a sight, despite being privy to the behind the scenes shots floating around for a month. The gunfight on the ranch was reminiscent of classic westerns, but of course the modern twist to all of this was McGarrett running down a Cessna on horseback. Only McG can manage to shoot out the tires after dismounting, preventing the plane from taking off. Of course I think it would have been more epic to have McG jump from the horse, onto the plane, and bring the plane down with the sheer weight of his awesomeness. *Applause*
I think the episode faltered with the “cult” dynamic. While it was necessary for the story to have an abductor who was not keen on modern medicine, I never had the feeling that there was actually a cult which did cultish things and brainwashed people with promises of alien landings in 2012.
Another weak step of the episode was the sudden departure of Jenna. We were left thinking that Jenna is in cahoots with Wo Fat, and if she is, I would imagine she’d try to undermine the Five-0 team from within. But the sudden news that her fiancé may still be alive, and her abrupt departure makes me wonder as to where the writers are going with this storyline.
And now, Things We Learned About Hawaii, From Hawaii Five-0, “Ua Lawe Wale”.
1) Everyone keeps a pistol in the entry way table of their house here in Hawaii, in the noisiest drawer.
2) The Hawaiian Amish cult of Lana’i hates modern medicine. But loves guns. And hand made horse drawn buggies.
Did you notice…?
McG was sussed up in a blazer, dress shirt and dress slacks for the LG? And he was pantsless, well cargo-pantsless, for the entire episode!
The Molokai2Oahu race is a 32 mile stand-up paddleboard race held every July.
The “Maile Alert” for missing children is modeled after the “Amber Alert” system, and named after Maile Gilbert. Her murder in 1985 led to the creation of the Maile Alert system in Hawaii.
One of the social networking posts on Jen’s wall read “Come on out to Lanikai this weekend. Free lessons for the keikei!” Lanikai is a nice, secluded beach in Kailua. “Keikei” should read “Keiki” which is Hawaiian for “children”.
How badass was Chin on the Harley?
Kono is a graduate of Pi’ikoi High School, home of the Pi’ikoi Kings (referenced on her yearbook Captain Fryer was holding). The Kings played the fighting Nuts of Kukui High School in S1Ep3, “Malama Ka Aina”.
“Ua lawe wale” is Hawaiian for “taken”, referring to the fact that Lori Weston has taken Kono Kalakaua’s place on the team.
Update: “Jen no ka oi” printed on Jen’s parent’s shirts is Hawaiian for “Jen’s number one”.