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!
Undercover Special Agent Hikaru sent me this bird’s eye view of filming for the Hawaii Five-0 episode “Mai Ka Wā Kahiko” in January 2011. Note how controlled the environment is. The production crew has the entire block (from the intersection on the left, to the far right). Stunt drivers drive the two cars in the correct direction at a slow pace. By speeding the frame rate and fast editing, the scene appears to be much faster than it’s actually shot. A stunt driver drives Danny’s Camaro in the opposite direction of a one way street. The building immediately to the right of the camera man’s building is the CBS production headquarters.
And watch the actual scene here at the 3 minute mark:
I think the the fans are pretty unanimous in agreeing that this is one of the best episodes of the season, and perhaps of the series so far. Everything came together perfectly in terms of cinematography, storytelling, and most importantly, the acting.
D is for Danny
After a strong run of Danny-centric episodes in season 1, Scott Caan deservedly earned a Golden Globe nomination. However, the tales of Danny Williams were temporarily shelved in season 2 with the introduction of Lori and the addition of Jenna and Max to the team. “Mai Ka Wa Kahiko” finally picks up where a lot of fans want to see the story go- escalation of the Williams family dynamic. This episode delivered, and we saw angry Danny, worried Danny and vengeful Danny. Scott covered the run of emotions so well in this episode, I wouldn’t be surprised if he earns himself another nomination if he and the writers continue at this pace.
I once told a friend that as much as I enjoyed Battlestar Galactica, the show stressed me out. He gave me a dismissive, “You’re taking the show way too seriously.” I disagreed with him, saying that if a show doesn’t make you laugh, or gets you emotionally involved with any of the characters, then the actors and writers have failed to engage the viewer. Last night’s episode of Hawaii Five-0 managed to get fans emotionally involved. We’ve seen Danny lose a friend before, so the death of the Marshall didn’t exactly tug at the heartstrings. But the game changer for Danny started when his former partner Peter kidnapped Grace. I think most parents probably had a difficult time watching naive Grace misplace her trust in someone whom she thought she could trust. Danny was no longer a smug, smart talking Jersey cop, but a helpless father. Later, watching Danny first shoot Stan and then Rick were truly jaw dropping moments in the episode that showed he was willing to risk everything to get his daughter back. I think the most wrenching part of the episode was having to see Danny pull poor Gracie from the dark, cluttered storage locker. The relief soon sets in as we see she’s ok, but what kind of human being locks a child in a sweltering storage locker? Any father who has a little girl must have felt some empathy in the last few minutes.
Speaking of Grace, for the first time in the series Teilor Grubbs had a significant part to play in the episode. I think she did incredibly well, considering the toughness of her scenes.
Peter Greene nailed his part perfectly as Danny’s former partner and crooked cop. Hands down, Peter’s performance was one of the best guest performances so far. He wasn’t a passing character as some other guest stars ended up being, but scored big in his scenes with Scott Caan and played the morally confused cop perfectly. I found it fascinating that his frame of reference was so skewed- that Danny’s testimony was a betrayal despite being a “good cop”…a good cop who happened to steal from crime scenes. I really would love to see Peter Greene on the show again.
"Danny if you don't do this, I'm bringing out the Gimp."
What I love about the Danny Williams character is that it has changed significantly since the beginning of the series. Danny was the “foil” or character that sharply contrasted another character. In his case, Danny was a by the book cop who tried to keep Steve on the straight track of police work, and not to resort to SEAL tactics of crime fighting. In season 1, he had to dissuade Steve from hanging suspects off buildings, roughing them up, and also breaking down doors without warrants. These instances were examples for fans to cite Danny as the moral compass of the group, and for Danny to do anything other than noble was out of character. I think the mistake of putting Danny on this pedestal makes it hard for fans to realize that despite Danny’s desire to do the right thing (further evidenced by ratting out his partner Rick Peterson), Danny is still a human being, and a hot headed one at that. When it comes down to children, or his friends and family, all bets are off, and Danny will resort to the “I’ll do whatever it takes to finish this” school of action. Dunking a suspect in the pool? Perfectly acceptable for Danny if it means getting information on his friend’s killer. Shooting a detained suspect in the leg? Perfectly fine if it means finding out where his daughter is located. Some will argue about police brutality, and if it’s realism you want, “Law and Order” is the show for you. Most of us watch Five-0 just to see what crazy stunt the team will pull to get the job done. Having said that though, there may be some reckoning coming down on Danny for taking it to the limit. And what about Stan? I’m sure he’s not going to be too happy that Danny shot him, he’ll be even less happy if he finds out that Danny and Rachel were together while he was gone.
In all, this was an incredible episode, and probably a pivotal point in Danny’s story arc this season.
And now, Things We Learned About Hawaii From Hawaii Five-0, Episode 215, “Mai Ka Wā Kahiko”
1) Not so much about Hawaii, but am I the only one who now knows how to unlock an airplane lavatory door?
Did you notice…?
Denby Dung (the flight attendant) who discovers the body is a local model, actress, actual Hawaiian Airline employee, and friend of the Kia Hamsters.
Friend of the blog and occasional Hawaii Five-0 background actor Sarah (@blondeatbeach) was the woman in the red dress at the mailbox store. I’ve lost track as to how many episodes she’s been in!
“Wala’au wale” in reference to the name of the phone company means “to talk” or “chatter” in Hawaiian.
I guess I’m a lucky guy. When I wake up every morning and look on to the outside world from my bunker, I see the towering peak of Koko Crater. Pu’u mai is the Hawaiian name for the crater, and the “stairs” are actually an abandoned railroad. This episode of Hawaii Five-0 again did an incredible job of making Hawaii look beautiful.
Hawaii Five-0 Godfather Mr. Mike tipped me off last week on his website that local jazz singer and Hawaiian entertainment legend Jimmy Borges mentioned on his personal Facebook page last week that he’ll be in an upcoming episode of Hawaii Five-0:
“Peter Lenkov, Producer, told me about a year ago that he wanted to write me into one of the episodes [of the new Hawaii Five-0]. Last week, I got a call to come in and look at some dialogue and take some camera shots. It seems that all went well on both sides and I’ll be shooting a nice part that could be a recurring part. My big excitement is … I’m shooting with Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan and … TAH RAH … JAMES CAAN. He’s one of my favorite actors! We get to bang heads (dialogue-wise). We shoot next week. Thank you, Peter Lenkov, Thank you Rachel (for the hot read) … JAMES CAAN … YAY.”
Jimmy Borges comes from the school of crooners as Dean Martin and Tony Bennett. Along with Don Ho, he has been a mainstay in local entertainment. He’s appeared in Magnum P.I. as well as the original Hawaii Five-0. Read more about Jimmy in Mr. Mike’s page.
Update: Honolulu Star Advertiser reporter Mike Gordon also reported the news yesterday.