HAWAII 5-O 1.13 (Ke Kinohi)

The second half of the television season kicks off with another high octane episode of Hawaii 5-O.  My pick for the best new network show continues to be a blast.

This episode does a lot to move the central plot-line of McGarrett seeking answers about the deaths of his parents forward.  Many of the episodes are more or fewer one-shots with subtle undertones of the bigger picture revealed gradually throughout the season.  A lot is revealed in this episode.

We start in McGarrett’s home as he is awakened by noises downstairs.  Steve-o heads down to investigate, only to be jumped by three Ninja types that introduce him to the business end of a taser and steal the toolbox containing all of his notes and evidence of his mother’s death.

Turns out McGarrett’s kid sister got a bit nosy and started snooping around trying to discover the truth about her mother’s demise as well.  As she learns the truth from an old family friend, she finds the toolbox and its contents, as well as trouble from the people who are desperate to cover up the truth.

Sis ends up a trunk monkey when she is abducted by a couple of goons from the Island mafia known as the Yakuza.  Even though Hawaii 5-O is over the top in many of its action sequences (think the A-Team where the bullets actually hit people), the show really doesn’t take itself too seriously. It all works and is deliciously satisfying.  These guys are total badasses, and it’s fun to watch even though the reality of it all is laughable.

So McGarrett and little Sis are coming to grips with the reality of finding out that Mommy was collateral damage, having blown up in the car bombing intended for their Father.  Clearly they are forming a closer bond with each other.  One thing about this show, besides the over the top action and comedic moments, is that it has a heart.  There have been many truly meaningful emotional moments littered throughout each episode.  The look that McGarrett gives his Sister as he learns what she knows and how she found out (turns out she’s like frakking Columbo) is one of those moments.  It looks respect and understanding, which is something he really never had for her in the past.  It was a true character growth moment for McGarrett.

In another one of those ‘I solved Rubik’s Cube without looking it up’ moments (meaning, unrealistic), McGarrett discovers that a man named Hiro Nashimuri is the kingpin behind the Yakuza and may be the key link into the death of his Mother.  No, it wasn’t the wormy little guy from Heroes, this Hiro is a well respected, major financier in and around Hawaii.  When McGarrett zeroes in on Hiro with some face to face posturing at a local restaurant, it is revealed that the Governor, the same Governor that funds 5-O, is a close personal friend of this guy.  They could have gone major conspiracy theory style here and made the Governor be a part of the inner workings of the Yakuza, but they didn’t.  She seems completely taken by surprise in learning the truth behind her friend, although she mentions to McGarrett that if he plans to go after Nashimuri, he’d better have all of his ducks in a row as she might not be able to protect him.  I’m sort of glad they took this route.  It would have been classic network overthinking to have had the Governor be in on the cover-up, which would have mucked up and convoluted the story.  Keep it simple, stupid.  Thanks for doing the right thing here.

Turns out Hiro Nashimuri has a brother, Koji, who McGarrett discovers is likely responsible for planting the bomb that killed his Mother.  Koji works as a “consultant” for Hiro.  Uh Huh.  And the girls in that parlor down the street are “masseuses” too.  McGarrett confronts the brothers on the 14th green at a local golf club.  For whatever reason, they appear to be the only people on the course.  Isn’t this Hawaii?  I’m thinking there might be a few people waiting to play through, but whatever.  They arrest Hiro, charging him with the kidnapping of little Sis earlier in the show, and McGarrett stares down Koji, vowing to take him down when he finds enough evidence against him to do so.

There was a third man in the golf party.  It is our old friend, Wo Fat (sweet) from the previous episode.  Steve and Danno have no idea who he is or how he’s linked in, thus let him walk.  We’ll be hearing more from Wo Fat to be sure.  At least I’m hoping, as I won’t get tired of saying Wo Fat any time soon.

The story winds down with 5-O learning that Koji Nashimuri turned up dead in a car explosion.  I got the sense that McGarrett isn’t buying it though, so we’ll have to see if the dude is really dead or not.

All in all, another fun, solid episode.  The acting continues to be top-notch, with Scott Caan locking it down as Danno.  Hopefully, they will give Grace Park (Kono) a meatier role as the series progresses.  So far, she really serves no purpose beyond busy work and looking good in a bikini.  Get Park more involved, CBS.  The series is easy to follow, as it doesn’t bog us down with too many sub-plots that convolute the story and in turn risk continuity issues popping up.  It is a refreshing take on the action cop drama that is well worth your attention.