Warner Bros. Entertainment
Last night's episode, which opened a three-episode arc, began with surveillance footage of a delivery truck pulling up to a car on fire. A person shot at the truck and two people were subsequently knocked out and the assailant then drove off with the truck. Oh, yes, the mystery person was wearing a gas mask.
The show cut to the library, with John Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Harold Finch (Michael Emerson). Apparently the Machine, which is the center of the whole show, has issued 38 numbers. (A brief primer - this machine, which uses all kinds of surveillance footage, issues numbers for people who are in potential danger. It's then up to Reese, Finch and anyone in their network to save these people.) These numbers turn out to be all cops. Hmm.
Detective Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman), one of the people Reese and Finch regularly call on, came up to the morning scene of the smoldering car. Reese surprised him by also coming up and presenting a fake badge. It turned out to be a Russian driving the truck; for those who have been following the show, you know that the Russian mob has been intertwined with the mysterious HR, a criminal element of corrupt cops. An element that Fusco used to be part of. Reese and Finch knew that a war is possibly brewing between HR and the Russians, since HR was supposed to give safe passage for the Russians to trade their illicit wares. Reese wondered, "Who lit the fuse?"
This show REALLY does well in going back and forth in time. The footage rewound to Nov. 10 (the show pretty much operates as if it is happening on the very day that it airs). Another Reese/Finch cohort, police officer Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson), was meeting with Alonzo Quinn - a prominent member of City Hall, the godfather of the late Cal Beecher (a love interest of Carter's) and the head of HR, which Carter now knew from events in last week's episode. She purposely sounded pessimistic when talking with Quinn, saying she was thinking of stepping down from the Beecher investigation. Clarke Peters continued doing a great job of playing Quinn as a sociopath. Quinn left but not before Carter used another technology often featured on the show: She paired her phone with his, so that she could hear whatever calls he makes or receives. She heard him talking with Patrick Simmons, a corrupt cop and pretty much Quinn's right-hand man, to set up a meetup with the Russian Mafia and their big man, Peter Yogorov. They met and of course, Carter was nearby with a directional mike. Yogorov complained that he was more like an errand boy and then said that he was done. Simmons fired a verbal warning shot by saying that they wouldn't provide safe passage for their delivery vehicles anymore, which Carter duly noted. Simmons then told a dirty cop that he wanted him to stake out Carter.
Carter went home and found Reese waiting there. There's always an undercurrent between those two. Reese is very protective, but Carter wasn't having any of it this time. She said that she wanted to be left alone - since the law says he's a criminal and HR knew they work together. Reese seemed to respect that and then as he was leaving, tossed over his shoulder for her to call if she got in over her head. After seeing that the former CIA operative was gone, she took the phone that Finch and Reese contact her on, removed the sim card and smashed it with her gun. Well...that was a statement. Not necessarily a SMART one, but a statement.
Two more flashbacks were woven through the episode dealing with Carter and her ex, Paul, at different junctures in time - eight years ago and five years ago. Eight years ago, Paul was a defiant man who refused to get help for his PTSD during military service. Carter had enough and made him leave. At first he was defiant and even went to her home and sat with their young son. He got angry when she told him he still needed help and even smashed a lamp, causing her to reach for her gun. He left, angry. Then the five-year flashback showed that he HAD gotten help and while he knew it was too late to repair their relationship, he wanted to be there for them.. and he left her his number to call if she needed help. This all played a part in the end .
Flash forward to present day, with Carter and Fusco sitting near a dock. Carter had been shutting Fusco out, but her former partner reached out after she had lost her current partner in a shooting. Fusco was trying to figure out how everything happened, but Carter, who had actually been there, diverted his attention. After Fusco left, she made a phone call...which turned out to be to Carl Elias (Enrico Colantoni), an ally only in the sense of keeping one's enemies closer than one's friends. Elias, who had been in hiding, paid a visit to Yogorov, which was awkward because Elias had killed Yogorov's dad. After convincing Yogorov that he hated HR more than him, he left an incriminating file for Yogorov to pore over.
After Carter got a confirmation phone call from Elias and told him to lay low, a recent cohort, Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi), met with her unbeknownst to Reese and Finch (because they would have had a collective aneurysm) and brought a satchel of guns. That led up to the scene with the burning car and delievery truck. It was Carter who did it. Later, Reese and Finch saw the footage and after sussing out that it was a female, thought it was Shaw. Turns out Shaw spilled the beans that it was Carter, leaving both Reese and Finch in a state of consternation
An angry Yogorov called Quinn, accusing him of the theft of the truck. Quinn tried to play cool, but the mobster threatened him. This was interspersed with Carter on a nearby rooftop overlooking Quinn's office.
While Carter was busy, Reese went to her house (he tends to ignore personal boundaries) and found it empty but located a bulletin board with her HR list. Reese called Finch and then got a call from Carter. She asked him to trust her, which he did, reluctantly. Afterwards, Simmons called Quinn and while they were conversing, Carter shot out his window with a sniper gun, making him think it was the Russians, setting the stage for an all-out war, a war that Finch said favors HR, since they have the law on their side.
There were scenes of Russian men being rounded up by HR and then Carter went to a cornered Yogorov and warned him. The only solution? Have her arrest him, a point she punctuated by holding up handcuffs.
This was a half hour's worth. The writers do NOT dilly-dally, which makes a very fast show. It felt like an hour's worth of excitement had been crammed in that shorter span.
The second half-hour began with Yogorov in holding under a fake name. Carter said that he shot at Quinn and that she knows Quinn is head of HR. She also said that Quinn HAS to go down and needs him to sign a statement as such. The carrot that she dangled was moving his brother, who HR has in Rikers as leverage, to a safer facility. Yogorov bit, but not before warning her to be careful which judge she chose to get a warrant on Quinn, since there's a lot of money moving around. Carter assured him that she had done her due diligence.
Carter surprised Fusco outside his place and after some back and forth on the subject of trust, she admitted that she's protecting him and gave him the key to a safe deposit box that has everything on HR. Hey, if that's not trust, I don't know what is. Fusco was so moved at this that he wanted to help and ran upstairs to get equipment, but of course Carter ditched him, since she needs to be the lone wolf.
HR had the mobsters at a shipyard and were all set for some gunplay. Reese and Shaw were at the scene, hiding. But just as the HR cops pulled their guns out, the FBI came screeching in. After a brief conversation, they found drugs in the trunk of a high-ranking HR cop's car. Fusco called Reese to say that Carter ditched him.
Carter called a judge for a warrant, but after he agreed to, he hung up and called Quinn. Oops. Right then I had a vision of the ancient Knight Templar in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: "You have chosen...poorly."
Before heading to the judge, Carter called Paul and had a heartfelt conversation with both him and her son, who was staying there. After hanging up, she drove to the judge, who escorted her to his living room, where Simmons, Quinn and several other dirty cops were waiting. With guns. Quinn had to have a little speech, and Carter got him to keep talking...for them to record his words on his own phone (Knight Templar: "Oops. You chose wisely! Wisely!") and in that moment of stunned silence, Reese burst in through the doors like the Terminator, guns ablaze. Carter managed to grab Quinn, who got winged by a shot, and managed to drag him outside while he defiantly kept saying that this was the worst mistake she ever made. A cop car came screeching into the driveway, but Reese shot out its engine and they made their getaway while the cop took cover behind his car door.
Of course, though, Simmons got a picture from the police car dashboard. and directed that the image of Reese, Carter and Quinn be distributed to EVERYONE. Including criminal elements. The episode ended there...which was good, since I almost permanently whitened my knuckles during the last 10 minutes.
The wheels are rolling and it's going to be VERY interesting to see what happens in the next two episodes.
S01E08 Holy crap this episode of Hawaii Five-O could not have been worse. It was predictable, it was slow, it was too unrealistic. It didn’t even have the courage to give us Grace Park in a bikini. And worst of all, they talked. Good lord did they talk. The script for this episode had to have been pages and pages of dialogue.
Lets start out with the cold opening. We got some hula dancing and beefy dudes twirling a baton but since that’s not “manly,” they lit both ends on fire. And they are at a big pig cook out and as soon as they showed the pit I knew there was going to be a body. And of course, there was a body. And it had a police badge stuffed in its mouth. I will give Hawaii Five-O this, it does have great production values. That corpse looked real. About as real as the script. Boom! Roasted! (Word play!)
So it turns out that the dead officer was Danno’s old partner back from when he was on Honolulu’s PD. We have never heard of this guy before but we’re supposed to care that he’s gone. Look, Hawaii Five-O, if you want us to care about someone dying or at least one of the main character’s reactions to said death, then you have to give us something to work with! You can’t just say, “Oh, hey, he was a good guy and it’s terrible that he died.” Show us that he was great! Show us what the torment means to Danno! Don’t tell us. I’m much more likely to believe something with my eyes than with my ears.
Now granted, I understand the reasoning behind this. Hawaii Five-O is a “special” police task force that only takes on the “special” cases. Figuring out who roasted a police officer isn’t special enough unless it's a former partner and then it's special and worthy of their time.
Blah, blah, blah, exposition, exposition, plot, plot. The officer was investigating something but Internal Affairs was also investigating him because a lot of his raids and busts went wrong at the last minute. Uh-oh! Internal Affairs does not insinuate that a former partner of Danno’s went rogue! You do not do that! Kelly believes him as well because that dickweed in IA screwed him over as well so he’s been there, man. I feel your pain, bro.
They go to investigate and here’s something that also bugged me about this episode. Danno and McGarretty just waltz into the police station and just start yelling and demanding stuff. If I was a hard working police officer, doing my duty to the citizens and city I swore to protect, I would be a little pissed off if these assholes just came in here and started demanding stuff. See I’m a good cop, I follow the rules and do all the paperwork required. Occasionally I’ll get to do something fun and exciting but mostly it's just keeping things in order. But then these dicks come in here, swinging their special task force around like it's a huge dick and take all the cool cases. I mean, if I were one of those normal officers I wouldn’t talk to them either.
Yada yada yada, more talking, more swinging their big dick badges around. They visit the fat guy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall again and learn about some new cocaine business happening at some fancy art show. They pay a visit and because this is CBS and supposedly everyone who watches CBS doesn’t understand “high” art McGarrett and Danno make fun of it. But because if there is a group of people on television, at least one of them will be an expert at any given subject. This time we get Kelly who lays down some modern art knowledge on us.
And then... TRAIN WRECK! ALL ABOARD THE BING PRODUCT PLACEMENT EXPRESS! NEXT STOP SHOE HORN VALLEY!
Kono asks Kelly how he knows so much and he casually tells her to “Bing” it. And we get a 30 second close up on how easy and fast Bing is to use. Look, Microsoft. I get it. You want people to use Bing. But people already use Google and Google has become a verb and you want a piece of that pie. But shoehorning it into a television show doesn’t work. You can’t force a popular phrase onto the masses, have you not seen Mean Girls? That’s not fetch.
Anyway, they successfully corner the art dealer drug guy because after all, you have to be high on SOMETHING to make and deal art like that. The guy doesn’t want to talk, which finally, FINALLY, gives us a little bit of action and not just people talking. Danno straps the art guy to the hood of his car in order to make him talk a little more. He talks because if he didn’t the plot couldn’t move forward and lord knows we need the plot to move forward.
Then we get to a stand off and drug trade with the art dude. The show tries to build up suspense and make it thrilling but there were just too many cliches here. The guards with automatic guns. The drug dealer with glasses. Tense language. But it wasn’t. We knew how this was going to end. The guy panics, they shoot out, they run and the guy gets shot by a friendly cop that was on 5-O’s side. They needed that guy alive to talk, so whoops.
But they ran the bullets! The bullets must like to run and it was the same gun as the one that shot the original cop! Reversal! The good cop (not the one in IA, but that doesn’t really matter) was actually the mole all along! Then the bad guy from an earlier episode (oh yeah, Danno went and talked to him) comes up and is all like “yep, that’s him” (I swear that’s almost word for word) and they arrest him. Because all it takes is the word of a imprisoned felon to take down a police officer. I’m sure all of those hard working normal cops appreciated the 5-O’s work.
Come on, Hawaii Five-O. Every other line doesn’t have to be pure exposition. Let the characters breath and live a little. Let them explore themselves. They don’t have to talk so much, they can do other things. Shape it up guys. You can do better.
For fans of FX’s gritty, acclaimed cop drama The Shield, Strike Team member Shane Vendrell has evolved into either the man you love to hate or the man you hate to love. As the noose tightens around the cops for their corrupt actions, Shane’s emerged from Vic Mackey’s shadow and transformed from an unwavering loyal Strike Team lackey to a man who’s capable of doing just about anything, right or wrong, to save his skin and now vies with Vic as the most dangerous man in The Barn.
But there’s no hating on Shane’s alter ego, actor Walton Goggins. In contrast to Shane’s edgy intensity, Goggins is the most affable of personalities, and incredibly appreciative of how the acting opportunities of the series have challenged him and elevated his profile.
As the seventh and final season of the series debuts this month, Shane is a more critical character than ever – as based on the first eight episodes, the show’s never been as intense and unpredictable – as he and Vic decide if they’re going to make peace or go to war over the sins of their past. Goggins sat down with Hollywood.com exclusively to reflect on his ride on the way to The Shield’s sure-to-be shattering conclusion (and took the fifth on plot spoilers).
“We hope that this work will never be in vain and we've worked our asses off,” said Goggins. “I'm not just talking about the actors either. I'm speaking about the crew, speaking about the DP and about every director who came onboard and every writer who wrote every word and page… I'm so proud of it.”
Hollywood.com: When you first got cast and got a sense of this character, did you ever have a sense of what an acting challenge was coming your way over the course of the series?
Walt Goggins: I didn't find this out until the DVD commentary of Season One, but after the pilot episode they wanted to fire me [laughs], but I said, 'I had four lines in the pilot.' They said, 'Still, they weren't quite sure how you fit into it and it was kind of negative, your whole bent. And people didn't really respond to you.' I was like, again, 'How do you respond to someone who has four lines. Come on!' Shawn [Ryan] having that information took it upon himself to say, 'No, you guys don't know. We have something really special with this actor.' I was so appreciative that he went to bat for me without me knowing any of this. And then in Episode Two, that was a huge deal for me and it really kind of set the tone for my arc over the series and the arc of this friendship because we were both – Michael Chiklis and I, Vic Mackey and Shane Vendrell – were inexorably tied to the original center of the show. You could never take that away. So it is about these two people having that information and how that information is revealed to the other people that are around us and how that affects us and where this friendship ultimately ends up.
An "America Undercover" presentation which enters the closed work of patrol officers in two urban centers--New York and Houston--to expose the gritty reality of being a cop in America today. The film follows officers on patrol, responding to calls, and spending off-duty time with their families.