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Mike Buck and Officer 808 discuss “Ua Lawe Wale”

September 27th, 2011 by

Radio talk show host Mike Buck and I discussed the second Hawaii Five-0 episode of season 2, “Ua Lawe Wale” on AM 830 KHVH.  We talked about Lauren German, filming on Lana’i, and Jenna’s potential departure from the show.

Officer 808 on the Mike Buck Show, September 27, 2011, Hawaii Five-0 “Ua Lawe Wale” (12:33)

The Undercover ohana gets bigger

September 27th, 2011 by

Well I’ve added two new Undercover Special Agents to my staff here in my secret underground bunker!  A few weeks ago, I made the announcement that Terry (@terrysagirl on twitter) is now a regular contributor to the 50undercover.com blog.  Please welcome also Melapaloosa (of popstar.com, @Melapaloosa on twitter) as the latest contributor to the blog!

Terry is working hard to put up the latest photos and news on Facebook and here at the blog.  Also check out the captions at “Oh No He Didn’t” and “Script, Please!” on Facebook. Melapaloosa will contribute the usual wit and snark you read on popstar.

Aloha to them both!

Things We Learned About Hawaii From Hawaii Five-0, Season 2 Episode 2, “Ua Lawe Wale”

September 27th, 2011 by

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.

Danny, Steve and Lori investigate at Waimanalo Beach.  (Photo: CBS)

Danny, Steve and Lori investigate at Waimanalo Beach. (Photo: CBS)

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”.

Aussie and UK Hawaii Five-0 season 2 airdates

September 22nd, 2011 by

Undercover Special Agent Taz tells me that Aussies should expect Hawaii Five-0 season 2 premiering September 28th at 9:30 on TEN.

As for the UK, I’ve seen announcements that say October and early 2012.  So if anyone has insight on this, please add to the comments!

Hawaii Five-0 soundtrack release date set for October 4th

September 22nd, 2011 by

The Hawaii Five-O: Original Songs From The Television Series soundtrack is slated for an October 4th release.

Hawaii Five-0 soundtrack cover

Hawaii Five-0 soundtrack cover

From amazon.com:

CBS Records will release a specially-produced soundtrack for the hit television series Hawaii Five-0 on Tuesday, October 4. Hawaii Five-0: Original Songs From The Television Series features brand new and previously unreleased tracks from some of music s most popular artists including Bob Dylan, Train, Goo Goo Dolls, The Swell Season, Switchfoot, Jimmy Cliff, Ziggy Marley and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro that are available exclusively on this soundtrack.

Hawaii Five-0 producers listened to dozens of submitted tracks before choosing the ones best suited for this season s upcoming storylines. Hawaii Five-0: Original Songs From The Television Series stands apart from TV soundtracks which merely compile a selection of songs that were heard in a series previous episodes. Instead, as a result of this creative process, this collection features mostly brand-new and previously unreleased tracks that will be integrated into upcoming episodes this season.

Of particular note from this collection is a previously-unreleased Bob Dylan track, “Don’t Ever Take Yourself Away.” This island-flavored gem dates from recording sessions in the early 1980s, and was newly mixed and mastered for this soundtrack after being locked in the vaults for nearly 30 years.

As Hawaii Five-0 Executive Producer Peter Lenkov explains, “Music plays a big role in our show, and we are thrilled that so many great artists have provided us with exclusive tracks that can be so well integrated into our second season episodes. As a result, fans will be able to experience a soundtrack album that is truly representative of Hawaii Five-0.”

The soundtrack also includes the first commercial release of the “Hawaii Five-0 Main Title Theme” that was newly recorded for the series launch in 2010. Also featured is a suite of the show s score, “Book em Danno” produced and arranged by Brian Tyler and Keith Power, which they assembled specifically for this album. Songs featured in the show s first season — “Closer” from Corrine Bailey Rae and Hawaiian standard “Hi Ilawe” from John Cruz are also included.

Hawaii Five-0 airs Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. The show is a contemporary take on the classic series about a new, elite federalized task force whose mission is to wipe out the crime that washes up on the islands sun-drenched beaches. Nearly 12 million people watch Hawaii Five-0 on CBS each week, making it one of the most popular television

TRACK LISTING:

1. Hawaii Five-0 Main Title Theme
2. World Upside Down (Jimmy Cliff)
3. The Best of Me (Goo Goo Dolls)
4. Out of Control (Switchfoot)
5. Should We Believe (Train)
6. Closer (Corrine Bailey Rae)
7. Don’t Ever Take Yourself Away (Bob Dylan)
8. Ukulele Five-0 (Jake Shimabukuro)
9. Love That’s Bigger (The Swell Season)
10. Pass It On (Ziggy Marley)
11. Hi’ilawe (John Cruz)
12. Book em Danno (Brian Tyler and Keith Power)

Supposedly Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Closer” is from season 1, but it doesn’t come up on my (almost) complete season one track listing on the Music page.  According to my page, none of the other songs are from season 1 either.  They may appear sometime in season 2 however.  I’m happy that there are two Hawaiian music performers on the CD:  John Cruz plays a great slack key guitar, and Jake Shimabukuro is a master on the ukulele.  But this being the “Hawaii” Five-0 soundtrack, I’d expect a little more Hawaii in it.  While I know not *every* song can appear on the soundtrack, I don’t think a one CD soundtrack would do the show justice especially if songs from local groups (Hapa and Ho’onua) and even the rock tracks from season 1 were excluded.

Promo photos for “Ua Lawe Wale”

September 22nd, 2011 by
Lauren German in Hawaii Five-0. (Photo: Norman Shapiro)

Lauren German in Hawaii Five-0. (Photo: Norman Shapiro)

New promo photos for “Ua Lawe Wale”, the second episode of season 2 up on Facebook. Appearing for the first time on the show Lauren German and Tom Sizemore!

Cousin Balki (Bronson Pinchot) to be back on Hawaii Five-0

September 21st, 2011 by

Do you think he’ll get another free ride on the hood of Danny’s Camaro?

From tvguide.com:

Bronson Pinchot will return in Season 2 as nefarious art dealer Bastille, who will once again team up with McGarrett. “Us three are in cahoots,” says Hannah Cornett, who plays Bastille’s gatekeeper. “We’ll be teaming up and maybe one of the good guys goes to the bad side, but it’s for the greater good overall.”

Things We Learned About Hawaii From Hawaii Five-0, S2 Ep 1 “Ha’i'ole”

September 20th, 2011 by

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.

Father figure

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!

Officer 808 on the Mike Buck show discussing the Hawaii Five-0 season 2 premiere

September 19th, 2011 by

Mike Buck invited me to go on the air tonight to talk story about the nationwide premiere of the “Hawaii Five-0″ season 2 premiere.  He’ll discuss the episode tomorrow morning when he fills in for Rick Hamada, at about 8:00 AM.

Listen to our conversation about today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser write up, and the new cast members.

Officer 808 on the Mike Buck Show, September 19, 2011, Hawaii Five-0 season 2 premiere night (15:09)

Scott Caan looks sharp for the Emmys

September 19th, 2011 by

Scott Caan presented along with Anna Paquin (True Blood) at last night’s Emmy’s.  Check out the photos on Facebook.  No wiccans were accosted during filming.

Scott Caan and Anna Paquin at  the 63rd Emmy's.  (Photo: FOX/ATAS)

Scott Caan and Anna Paquin at the 63rd Emmy's. (Photo: FOX/ATAS)