Well, hello there, my wonderful H50 friends! I hope you all had a fantastic summer, full of fun, family and friends! As happens every year, I’m really sad to see summer end. I’m not ready for sweaters and coats. I am very attached to my flip flops, thank you very much! But, Fall means the return of my beloved Hawaii Five-0 so, if that means I must relinquish my flip flops for now, I’ll live vicariously through those I see in paradise on my TV.
As we all know, our show was involved in a rather vocal controversy as filming began for this season but I’m not going to go into a long discussion about the controversy or the actors here today. What’s done is done. There are a couple of blogs posted from that time on this site and, if you want to go back and look for them, please feel free to do so.
I will say this. Whether we like it or not, change is part of life. Loved ones leave us all the time. The beloved characters of Chin and Kono will never be forgotten and hopefully, we might get to see them again someday. But, as with real life, when people we love leave us, others can come along and, with time, become loved ones as well.
And I can see that Tani Rey will have no problem fitting in with the Five-0 Ohana. I loved the onscreen chemistry between Meaghan Rath and the guys, especially between her and Scott. I can see Tani and Danny becoming fast friends. Other than the fact that she is young and fresh from the Academy (well, tossed from the Academy) I think those who are mocking the character as just being “Kono2” are way off base.
Tani is not Kono and she is not replacing Kono. There is only one Kono, she’s awesome, and no one can replace her. Tani is her own person, with her own personality and skill set. She is a wonderful addition to the team and not a replacement for anyone. Tani is brassy and confident. She’s tough as nails and isn’t afraid of anything. She’s as bad ass as Kono is and she’s got a sense of humor that plays very well off all the guys.
Ask Steve if the Camaro can go any faster… score Steve points.
Shoot the suspect in the knee to stop a fight Steve says he’s got control of…. score Danny points (“Can we keep her?”).
Haul off and punch said suspect for being a jerk…. score Lou points (I’m starting to like you!”).
“That’s funny” “What’s funny?” “Unpredictable, stubborn and crazy… she’s the female you”. I love it! Of all the times that term has been thrown at new characters, this is the first time I think it might actually be kind of true!
Yeah, I think she’s going to fit in famously and I’m really looking forward to learning more about her, her life up to this point and what’s going on with her brother. I’m looking forward to the new avenues this character will open for great stories.
I liked the way writers incorporated Tani into the episode especially how Steve and then Danny told her about Chin and Kono. I have to agree with those who wish the show could have given Chin and Kono great send offs like Max got. That would have been wonderful. But, the situations were completely different. TPTB knew Masi was leaving, they knew exactly when he was leaving and they knew for certain that he wasn’t coming back. They were able to write an episode to give Max a grand, sentimental sendoff. It wasn’t the same for Chin and Kono.
Now I have no idea if this is true because I have no more inside information than the next gal but my gut feeling is TPTB knew, at the end of Season 7 filming in early Spring, that Grace was not coming back and were, if not 100%, at least pretty damn sure Daniel wasn’t coming back either. But, I also think they held out some small hope that between the end of S7 filming and the beginning of S8 filming in July, they could come to an agreement with, if not both, at least one of them. So, they wrote open ended exits for them both, leaving those doors wide open in case negotiations worked out before filming started again. And if they didn’t, those doors would still be open for possible appearances in the future. Grand sentimental sendoffs, obviously, would have made no sense.
Having Steve tell Tani about Chin and later, having Danny do the same about Kono, introduced Tani to the legacy of two of the founding pillars of Five-0 and explained their departures to viewers in a way that showed Steve and Danny are proud of what their friends are doing yet you could feel how much they are missed. I’m willing to bet this isn’t the last time we hear about Chin and Kono. We may not have gotten the pleasure of seeing grand sentimental sendoffs but no one is going to forget them and how important they both were or stop hoping that someday we’ll get to see them again.
I thought the crime of the week was pretty good even if it was populated with familiar names and faces. We’ve seen Jason Duclair several times now and while I think he’s a great villain I’m not all that upset that he perished in the fire of his own making. Karma is, after all, a very cruel bitch. Our other villain, Aaron Wright, brother of hacker Ian Wright who was killed by WoFat over 3 years ago, is the latest in a long line of vengeful family members Five-0 has had to deal with.
It took a second viewing for me to get a good grip on what was going on with these two. Let me see if I get it right: Drug lord hires hacker to break arsonist out of jail so arsonist can find another arsonist who burned drug lord’s stash. After arsonist #2 identifies arsonist #1, drug lord kills arsonist #1, by fire via shot out kneecaps. Arsonist #2, certain Five-0 will track him down through the drug lord, goes after said drug lord and his sons and kills them, by fire of course, then sets his sights on the hacker who broke him out in the first place. Did I get that all right?!? Probably not. I probably missed some of the minutia of that whole interaction but I think I got the gist of it.
I have to admit, Duclair’s escape from Halawa was ridiculously easy. I mean, I get that Wright hacked the prison system and unlocked Duclair’s cell while at the same time, locking the guards in their observation room. But there were no other guards on duty? Duclair walked right out into the light of what? A regular Oahu street? The recreation yard? It reminded me of when WoFat walked out of Halawa and into Jenna Kaye’s car without so much as breaking a sweat.
I’m not really sure how I feel about the Wright character either. He left me kind of cold. Not really all that menacing, to tell you the truth. But he was a means to an end… the end being getting Duclair out of Halawa. Actually, the best thing about Wright was his choice of alias when booking his flight into Oahu. Mick St. John!!! I think every Alex fan girl out there literally screamed at her TV in that moment. I know I did! Oh, how I miss that beautiful vampire and oh…. to be a fly on the wall to see Alex’s reaction the first time he read his script!
But, you know what? I hope it was in everyone’s script except Alex’s. I hope they sprung it on him, with cameras rolling and that it was caught on film. What a gag reel moment that would be! I also thought it was really funny when Steve smelled the smoke of the fire Duclair started before they actually saw it. It was such a “Mick” moment watching Alex “sniff” out the scent! LOL
For me, the best part of this episode was watching the team and watching it reform. Like I said before, I really enjoyed the way Tani fit in, I loved how she wouldn’t back down and insisted on going with them to hunt down Duclair. I really enjoyed the give and take between Steve, Danny and Lou over whether to give Tani a gun (but, ummmm guys… you gave her a gun but no vest??) and I especially loved the scenes within the hunting cabin. I honestly have to tell you, I was enjoying the interplay between Steve, Danny, Lou and Tani so much, I didn’t miss Chin and Kono at all. I’m pretty sure I’m going to love this new team a lot.
The best moments of Duclair were in the cabin as well, as he described, in excruciating detail, what smoke does to human lungs in a fire, while we watched Steve attempting to make it through the fire for help. Listening to Duclair describe how the smoke and microscopic particles get into the lungs and slowly choke off a person’s ability to breath was chilling. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was sitting there thinking, “get the hell out of there Steve. The last thing you need is screwed up lungs too!”.
And yeah, I have to admit, the helicopter lifting the cabin out of the fire was a bit over the top. But I know I’ve seen choppers lift large things into the air in real life. Military choppers hauling tanks off battle fields and stuff like that. So I guess I can stretch my imagination and allow for a chopper to lift an old cabin, that probably weighs a lot less than a fully armored tank.
Besides, Tani was right. If Steve (and how the hell did he get himself out of that fire and into a chopper??? Details…. details…..) had tried to lift all three of them into the chopper together, the back draft would have blown them around, gotten them all tangled together. So, was lifting the cabin far fetched? Probably. But, you what… I could not care less.
This is Hawaii Five-0. More specifically, this is a Hawaii Five-0 season premiere. It’s going to be cinematic and far fetched. Hawaii Five-0 lands airplanes on Kalakaua Avenue. It lands choppers on the 50-yard line. It picks up armored vehicles with giant claws and it lifts hunting cabins with choppers. It’s what makes Hawaii Five-0 fun and entertaining. I pity those who are so close minded and unable to simply enjoy the silliness of life and escapist entertainment.
I’ve always chalked up my acceptance of things like these to my love of James Bond movies. He’s always coming up with ridiculous ways of getting out of situations and I’ve loved those movies since I was a kid.
I remember him driving a motorcycle off a cliff, leaping off the bike and “flying” through the air in order to climb into the cockpit of a small plane that had gone into a dive, reaching the rapidly plummeting plane, climbing in, leveling off and flying away! Absolutely ridiculous and I loved every minute of it.
Give me over the top escapism over staid and boring any day!
Ok… time to talk about my most favorite moments in this premiere and, of course, you all know me, it’s going to be Steve and Danny and the restaurant. These scenes, both at the beginning of the episode and at the end, were simply too perfect for mere words.
When I first saw the promo pictures, my first thought was that Steve had found this perfect place for the restaurant and would be trying to convince Danny they should start laying the foundation sooner rather than later. I thought Danny would do what Danny normally does and accuse Steve of stepping over bounds and being a control freak.
So, I am totally thrilled this was completely Danny’s idea and even more happy that he came right out and told Steve how he really was feeling. That he wanted them to be partners in this venture. That he thought it would be fun for the two of them to do it together. Steve, immediately touched by Danny’s words, at first doesn’t know how to react and accuses Danny of only doing it because he thinks Steve’s going to get “the big C” from the radiation. Steve’s assuming that Danny thinks Steve doesn’t have a lot of time so they better get started sooner rather than later.
Danny, taken back by those words, does what he normally does. Reverts to the snark, but Steve knows he doesn’t mean it, just like he always knows. They may not be saying everything they want to say but the understanding is there. Danny can’t bear the thought of Steve not being a part of his life and Steve is truly touched that Danny wants him to be part of his dream.
It was kind of like that in the cabin as well. Surrounded by fire, Lou thought they were all going to succumb to the smoke at any moment. He tried to tell Danny…. tried to tell him how much their friendship has meant, the old “it’s been an honor to serve with you” kind of thing. Danny knew what he was going to say… Lou understood Danny knew it… no need to say it.
That’s another reason why I loved the last scene between Danny and Tani. Not only did he tell her about Kono, he also told her about Steve. Yeah… the snark was there. Steve will do lunatic things… he’ll drive you crazy. But the snark was bathed in love and admiration for the man who always shows up just when others need him. Who comes into the lives of people at just the right time. Who is a good and true friend who will have your back no matter what.
Danny and Steve may not know too much about running a restaurant. May not know all the things needed to make a success out of it. But they have faith in each other and that’s always a great place to start.
I absolutely loved the interaction between Steve and Danny in this episode. It was a a breath of fresh air to see these two on the same page for pretty much the entire episode. And, even when they were bantering back and forth, even when Danny thought Steve going out into the fire was a stupid idea, it never got angry and never got nasty. There wasn’t a single moment of either one even raising his voice. It was the bromance I have loved from the very beginning. I hope this is a good indication of how they’re going to be all season.
Lastly, I want to say how much I enjoyed the new opening credits to the show, especially seeing Dennis Chun, Kimee Balmilero, and Taylor Wily in the opening. They didn’t have a lot to do in this premiere because there was so much going on, but they all made contributions to moving the story along. I also loved seeing Nahale again and how he and Kame went to serve food to the fire fighters fighting the blaze.
I particularly enjoyed Jerry. It seems he has been chosen to be the resident keeper of the Magic Table. It’s a wise choice. He’s Five-0 but he is not street material and, please God, let’s not ever try to give him a gun. Working the Magic Table is the perfect way to utilize his skills.
I’m looking forward to the weeks to come when Beulah Koale and Ian Anthony Dale come on board and our team and our credits will be complete. But one new cast member, not in the premiere, was already in the credits. Did you see him??? Check out Chi’s pictures and you’ll see our new pup Eddie made it into the credits already! So awesome!!
Well, that’s it for the Season 8 premiere of Hawaii Five-0. I have to say, I loved it. I know…. no real surprise there. Everyone pulled it together really well, TPTB hit a home run adding Meaghan to the team and I think the addition of Beulah’s Junior a couple of episodes from now will really help the new team gel. This was a great start along a new and unknown road. But surprises can be fun and this is Hawaii Five-0, so it’s always fun!
Until next week my friends! Aloha. Malama Pono
All screen caps are mine. Done courtesy of CBS All Access unless otherwise noted (thanks @alohaspaceman ♥)