I’m writing this about a full day after the episode aired, and while I’ve managed to avoid reading any other reviews, I think it’s pretty unanimous that this episode nailed every, single, thing that we loved about Hawaii Five-0 from the beginning.
Respecting the culture
Among many of the things I’ve heard Peter Lenkov say, this episode does one thing I’ve heard him repeat: his iteration of the show makes a huge attempt to respect the Hawaiian culture. In this episode, the culture of the islands wasn’t a passing comment or a footnote in the story, but took the stage, front and center. Great lengths were made to recreate the battle scene with authentic weapons, clothing including the malo [loincloth] to the feathered helmet and cape (see “Did you notice below…”). Writers also included cultural artifacts including the deadly leiomano and the intricate lei niho palaoa. I was totally impressed by the amount of research that went into the episode.
Photo: Norman Shapiro/CBS
I’ve heard the term “stunt casting” being thrown around the social network regarding Hawaiian born baseball player Shane Victorino and speed skater Apolo Ohno’s appearance in last night’s episode, and I couldn’t disagree more. Shane did well in the part that he had, as the leader on a company’s retreat. Apolo had a bigger part and played it superbly. As the antique smuggler Seth Burgess, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Apolo again in a future episode since the character has a deep knowledge of Hawaiian artifacts. It was also good to see Taylor Wily again at the end of the episode.
This episode reminded us why we fell in love with the show in the first place
Carrying on from last episode, I think the writers have hit it out of the park again. We finally get back to the banter and the good old carguments that we know and love. Fritata disasters, Danny’s covert op for a group date night- all of it were written and performed so well, I couldn’t help but feel like it was season 1 all over again. The original formula for success can work, and work well if the story is done right. Don’t get me wrong, I like it when the writers can mix it up with the story telling, such as the divergent timeline in last week’s episode, but it just seemed like a really long time that we’ve had an episode that just about everyone unanimously agreed was a good one.
Grace Park had a great moment in the episode where she challenged her boss and her cousin. As the youngest member, she doesn’t do a lot of disagreeing, so when she stands up for her opinion, and being right, it was a refreshing surprise.
Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim, "Kupale" (Photo EPR)
Danny wins hearts and minds
Scott turned in another great performance as Danny. I loved the flirty scene with Danny and Gabby in the museum with the fifth wheel Steve in tow. Of course the episode culminates in the group date that Danny sets up with Gabby so that Grace can finally meet the new lady in her Dad’s life. He finds them on the beach, making a Hawaiian butterfly with shells in the sand. Grace gives her dad the final shell to place, and despite his fear that he’ll ruin it, he puts it in the right place. And like the shell in the butterfly, Danny, Gabby and Grace fit well together. This romantic relationship is probably the best developed and written in the show so far and we’ll see how this blossoms.
And now , Things We Learned About Hawaii From Hawaii Five-0, Episode 216, “Kūpale”
1) Judging by the participants of the battle re-enactment, there’s no such thing as a scrawny Hawaiian. What’s the nickname for a 250 pound Hawaiian? “Slim”.
2) Thankfully Hawaii doesn’t have any eco-terrorists, even if we did, they’d be smart enough not to make their escape with a long ride off a short pier.
Did you notice…
The leiomano [lei of shark teeth] was referenced before in “Ka Hakaka Maika’i” [The Good Fight], but we finally see it in action during the battle. It’s a pretty brutal weapon that does some serious damage.
Man Wearing Feather Cloak and Helmit (sic) attributed to Rembrandt Peale
Hawaiian feather helmets (mahiole) and capes (‘ahu’ula) were intricate crafted from the black and yellow feathers of the extinct ‘o’o and mamo birds. Also used were red feathers from the ‘i’iwi (Hawaiian honeycreeper) which still lives in wooded areas. These adornments were reserved for the ali’i [royalty]. Beach boy Mamo wore them on the battlefield. Coincidentally, no other Polynesian culture ever used feathered helmets and capes. Historians have a theory for this, and I’ll share that in a later post.
The lei niho palaoa [whale tooth necklace] is intricately woven from human hair, with a hook made of sperm whale bone. From the British Museum website: High ranking men or women wore the lei niho palaoa as an emblem of status. The pendant may be a stylized representation of the head of a deity, and as such befitted persons of high rank.
Brandon Karuba and his partner built a ship that looked suspiciously like the Hawaii Superferry. It’s a now defunct company that attempted to run a ferry between the islands. As mentioned in the episode, opponents argued that the Superferry would endanger marine wildlife, though the company argued that it had multiple layers of warnings for avoiding whale contact. Ironically in its short run, the Superferry never ran into any whales but, whale watching tour boats have a long history of hitting whales. What ultimately undid the business was the legal and political wrangling- the company was “expressed laned” by the State legislature and launched without a full environmental impact study.
The battle scene was filmed at Kualoa Ranch, Ka’a'awa Valley. If you look closely, you can see a blue Dharma van in the background. Just kidding.
My favorite Steve moment: just as Dennison grabs Megan’s pistol and turns it on her, Steve gives an exasperated eye roll worthy of a sassy 15 year old, before promptly shooting him in the shoulder. Steve has faced the Taliban, Iraqi insurgents and worse, and he ain’t about to be shown up by a pencil pusher!
Teri Okita of Hawaii News Now caught behind the scenes interviews with Apolo, Alex and Peter. Peter doesn’t rule out the possibility of Apolo returning as a recurring character, Alex talks of the future of the season, and Apolo talks about the transition from athletics to acting. Catch the video or read the transcript below!
Apolo Ohno skates from athlete to actor on Hawaii Five-0
by Teri Okita
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Sometimes, even good guys go bad! Olympic gold medalist, Apolo Ohno, guest starred the February 20th episode of Hawaii Five-0 – as a thief and murder suspect.
But before the Five-0 team could catch him, he sat down with me to talk about the transition from athlete to actor. He’s the first to tell you, it’s not necessarily a natural transition. Ohno hasn’t decided if he’ll go for Olympic gold again, but he is definitely setting his sights this new career. “A new challenge!” he exclaims. And he knew Five-0 would be a perfect fit.
On one of his breaks from shooting, he told me, “When I heard that they were going to remake Hawaii Five-0, I think I was actually still competing at the time. This was before the last Olympics, and I called my manager, and I said, ‘I love the show. I gotta get on the show!’ and finally, finally, we made it happen.”
Mr. All-American loved playing the bad guy and has been taking lessons to hone his acting skills. “My entire life as an athlete, I spent, essentially creating this invisible shield, this invincibility shield – that I never showed any weakness,” says Ohno, thinking back. “I didn’t show any emotion, other than I was happy or I was never tired. And then, you reverse the role and you try to become an actor, and you show your vulnerability side. You show your weaknesses. You show all of your insecurities. So, it’s a big change of pace, but it’s something that I really enjoy.”
Ohno’s role on the show could be recurring – as producers tinker with various storylines down the road.
“I’m always thinking of whole, the big picture,” explains executive producer, Peter Lenkov. “I’m thinking, like when we started the season, I was thinking about what our end game was going to be.”
And for fans who think they know the endgame, plenty of surprises are still in store. “You can bring up a back story that wasn’t there before or you can do all sorts of things,” says the show’s star, Alex O’Loughlin, who plays Steve McGarrett. “So, we have a lot of freedom with that. We’ve still got a lot of juice left in the Wo Fat stuff and the John McGarrett stuff. You know, we’re far from resolution with that.”
Add to that, the continuing rotation of guest stars – drawn to the allure of both the show and the islands – and the show stays fresh. “I love Hawaii,” says Ohno. “Everytime I come back here, I feel so good. It’s like one of the few places that I feel like I can rest and I’m calm. It’s a really good sense of energy here.”
Next on the guest list: legendary actor James Caan – Scott Caan’s father. He won’t be playing Danny’s dad in the show, but just like Apolo Ohno’s character, it promises to go against typecast and expectations.
‘Hawaii Five-0′ first look: James and Scott Caan stage small-screen family reunion
by Sandra Gonzalez
We’d be lying if we said our hopes weren’t sky high for the upcoming episode of Hawaii Five-0 that finds star Scott Caan sharing scenes with his father James Caan (both pictured below in this EW exclusive first look). But from the sounds of it, we won’t be disappointed.
In this episode, set to air Feb. 27, James Caan plays Tony Archer, a retired NYPD bomb expert-turned-private investigator who lives on the island. (But if you’re getting technical, I suppose he lives off the island… on a sail boat.) The team crosses paths with Archer during a murder investigation. Click below.
Image Credit: Norman Shapiro/CBS
It really should be illegal to have this much badassery in one picture.
This is not the first time father and son have appeared in a project together. James Caan played Scott Caan’s on-screen father in 2009′s Mercy, which was directed by the Hawaii Five-0 star.
AllysonKoerner: This isn’t the last we’ve seen of Lauren German aka Lori Weston on Hawaii Five-0, is it? Please tell me no.
We took your Q right to executive producer Peter Lenkov today, who answered right back: “We never say never again on Five-0. She’s still alive, right?” So you know what that means, right? Keeeeepwatching!
You know it’s Nielsen sweeps time when TV shows leave you wow’ed week after week. Writer Paul Z delivered a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant (did I say it enough?) episode in “I Helu Pū”, in which we see a twist to the typical procedural by telling the story via two timelines.
This episode was a refreshing departure from the normal Five-0 procedural from start to finish. The opening sequence didn’t feature a group of hapless tourists/adventurers/hikers stumbling upon a dead body, who scream in horror right before the title sequence rolls. We’re left with a stunned and bloody Lori looking in on an emergency room where nurses are rolling in a crash cart for that patient on the bed. Is it Steve?!? Based on the previews for this episode, a lot of us were left wondering if it was Steve who went over the edge of the building. This and other huge misdirects really kept viewers on edge and kept the pace of the story high.
I loved the telling of the story in two separate timelines, and how they finally meet at the end. While the writers have done something like this before, it was a bigger feat to tell the entire episode as such.
The biggest plus was that I felt like we’ve caught up on an entire season of character development with the dialog between the characters at the onset of the investigation. It felt like season 1 all over again! The “winners” versus “uppers” banter was brilliant, and I loved the friendly romantic advice that Kono was giving to her cousin. Danny made a small mention of Gabby, so we know she’s still in the picture of Danny’s life somewhere, and we see the return of Lieutenant Catherine Rollins, who despite her dispassionate “see you later” hug with Steve earlier in the season, seems to have picked up where she left off.
The acting was spot on. Alex was intense as always, and I’m sure all the Alex fans’ hearts skipped a beat when we went over the edge to save the jumper. Daniel rocked it with the martial arts against the Russian guards. Grace, Masi and Scott delivered as well. I thought Sarah Habel was especially great as the victim’s sister, Amanda Chase.
Plugging the locals
A lot of local businesses as well as a local musician got a mention in this episode. The most prominent feature was ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro who has a song featured on the Hawaii Five-0 soundtrack album. The Makani Kai helicopter tour company got some camera time, and Haleiwa Joe’s had a mention as well.
McGarrett is indestructible
You can shoot him, shiv him, hit him with a car, send him over the edge of a building, but that braddah will take a licking and keep on ticking. He gets plowed by a car going at least 25 miles an hour and all he needs is a filling! I cry and immediately demand a band aid when I get a paper cut. Airplane black boxes need to be be made from his DNA to make them completely indestructible. And when the case is done, there’s still enough McLovin’ for all tha ladeez. I thought he might sneak in a kiss with Lori, but he saved his box of chocolates for Catherine at the hotel…
Skyrockets in flight... (Photo Norman Shapiro, CBS)
With the resignation of Lori Weston for failing to perform her duties of keeping tabs on the Five-0 team, along with the character development in this episode, and the return of Catherine Rollins, I would put forth that we seem to be returning to how things were like near the end of season 1.
Lauren German and the Lori Weston character had a monumental task at the beginning of the season. The sides and casting call that were released and leaked called for a sexy, savvy female McGarrett. Media outlets hyped up the possibility of Lori becoming a love interest for Steve. Actress Lauren German had to fill the shoes of being the new member of the team in the midst of a team broken up by Steve’s recent arrest, Kono’s IA investigation, Chin’s possible betrayal of the team, and Danny’s personal distractions. So season 2 started with all that resting on Lori’s shoulder’s.
But the fracture of the team extended into the fandom with the coming of Lori. Some fans, for whatever reason, hated the character from the start, citing a litany of unjust judgements against her, with comments about the character’s appearance, accusations of the character “knowing everything”, and the list went on and on and on.
Fair minded fans gave Lori a chance but found either the character lacking in depth or didn’t see the chemistry with the other characters. And there are still many fans who loved Lauren’s portrayal on the show. I myself loved the character, but am disappointed that Lori never seemed to live up to her full potential. Lori had a lot of great moments with the team, but could never shake off the fan drama that followed.
Photo Norman Shapiro, CBS
Fingers of accusation will fly at the writers, the actors, and the fans as to the reason for the drama that evolved around Lori, and I’m not going to start that discussion here. I asked Peter on the Mike Buck show last year (on a podcast posted to the blog) if fan input has any bearing on the direction of the show. He stated that shows are written so far in advance that fan input, while interesting, has little bearing on the show’s course. Some people will be patting themselves on the back for their perception of a job well done for putting pressure on the writers for removing a character they didn’t like, but I’ve always maintained that as fans, we are on a roller coaster, along for the ride. We don’t tell the ride operator to turn right, left, go up, or go down. We go where they want us to go, it’s up to us to enjoy the ride or not. And like roller coasters, some episodes are more memorable and more thrilling than others, but in all I really love the show.
So with sadness, I say “aloha” to Lori Weston, and Lauren German. The thing about the meaning of “aloha” in Hawaiian is that it can mean “love”, “hello”, and “goodbye”. I bid aloha to Lori and Lauren with the hope that we’ll see her again to help the team.
And now, Things We Learned About Hawaii From Hawaii Five-0, Episode 216, “I Helu Pū”
1) The University of the Hawaii Warrior Football team was formerly known as the Rainbow Warriors. The word “Rainbow” and corresponding logo was dropped in 2000, and a more aggressive “H” logo with a corresponding Hawaiian tribal tattoo design was adopted. I think “Rainbow Warriors” didn’t strike enough fear into the hearts of our opponents, who probably thought that the UH team rode magical ponies and sprinkled cheer and aloha to all in the land.
Did you notice…?
Local celebrity Kimo Kahoano played Jake Almeda, the governor’s chief of security. His popular song “Aloha Friday” is the “pau hana” [quitting time] anthem at 5 PM every Friday.
Catherine comments about wanting to drink beers at Haleiwa Joe’s, which is a restaurant chain, one in Kaneohe and one in Haleiwa. The Kaneohe location sits above a beautiful garden, and has an incredible Sunday brunch.
Navy SEALs still wear the old camouflage uniform, since the Navy had not agreed on what woodland pattern the SEALs should wear. The rest of the Navy wears the blue digital print, like Catherine.
In this episode of the podcast, AM 690 KHNR Mike Buck and I chatted about Monday’s episode, “Mai Ka Wā Kahiko”. We dissect the episode, discussed Koko Crater Trail, Telor Grubbs’ performance, Danny’s ability to throw the rules out the window, James Caan’s upcoming appearance, model Denby Dung, local actress Sarah (@blondeatbeach), Peter Greene as the perfect bad guy, and the numbers games with ratings. Sit, download, and enjoy!