‘Hawaii Five-O’ Recap: Nalowale

S1:E5 Have you ever wondered what Taken would look like if it was set in Hawaii? Well lucky for us, this week’s episode of Hawaii Five-O answered that incredibly random and specific question. It had the kidnapped daughter, the date raping drugs, the daring go-get her from the kidnappers. The only thing it was missing was Liam Neeson’s little soliloquy that looks really good on a poster, but we do have McGarrett’s growl. Though it does pale in comparison.

Anyway, the plot wasn’t lifted exactly from Taken, it just sounded a lot like it. We start off with the hilarious intro and the fat kid pointing out the mermaid in the ocean. Oh stupid fat kids, how we laugh derisively at you.

The mermaid wasn’t a sea creature after all. It turns out it was the daughter of the US Ambassador to the Philippines and her sister is missing as well. The governor is friends with the ambassador and she puts her two best men on the case. Lucky for us, it’s the 5-0 gang.

They go off investigating in the land of awkward dialogue and exposition. We learn the Ambassador’s wife just came into a lot of money! They hired extra security! The girl put up a struggle before being killed! Wow, can Hawaii Five-O move through some plot in a couple of lines.

And that’s the thing. Hawaii Five-O can be a decent show. There are some genuinely entertaining moments around these basic procedural stuff. Like Masi Oka’s extremely awkward lab technician. Their conversations were hilarious. They need more stuff like that and less of the explaining stuff right to our faces. Unless they do in a funny way like when Kono asks what a “K and R” is. That was hilarious.

One little side note! Daniel Dae Kim finally got some non-exposition lines! Of course it was technical jargon about guns, but better than him explaining who everyone was. Anyone else think it was a little odd the way he was talking to a hired security guard? For a second I couldn’t tell if Kim was gay or racist. Either way, the scene was pretty funny.

So the good little girls weren’t exactly good as they were at a club when they told the parents they were at a movie. McGarrett and Danno see the guy they discovered taking the girls and they watch him slip a roofie in another girl’s drink. Now, I’m all for cops showing off their badges but man, McGarrett and Danno swing theirs around like its a big… badge. Yep, just like a big badge. They do some totally legit interrogating (they drug him and blast an air horn in his ear) and learn about the Hawaiian sex trade.

This leads to sending Kono undercover. It really is starting to seem like the only reason Grace Park is in the show as a character is to send her undercover and put her in danger. Wasn’t there talk in the first episode how she was basically unknown? She won’t exactly keep the low profile for a while if she keeps busting everyone.

But that also leads to her doing some interrogating of her own. Surprisingly, McGarrett, who has no problem drugging and beating people to a pulp, was shocked that Kono would threaten to kill a dog in front of witness. That kind of hypocrisy gets you killed. Or maybe not killed. I don’t know the exact ramifications of hypocrisy in this situation but I would imagine its not good.

More expository dialogue and technical mumbo jumbo (that’s the technical term for it, ironically) and we learn that the Ambassador has been lying to us! Shocking! He’s been in contact with the kidnappers and they want the ransom. So Kim was right! The black guy did have something to hide!

And then we get the single greatest guest appearance on the show so far. The Ambassador walks in with his money (dressed in the appropriate business casual attire, don’t want to seem to formal when handing off money for your daughter) and then the kidnappers show up and its…. Patrick Gallagher! The old football coach from Glee? Yeah, him! Honestly, after he showed up I couldn’t keep a straight face. By the time he and McGarrett got in a fist fight and McGarrett threw him over his shoulder (stunt of the week!) into a conveniently placed empty wooden box, I was laughing. Good times, good times.

Then we get to the end of the episode. “Book ‘em Danno!” was back when they got to arrest the black guy. The sentimental moment at the end wasn’t that bad either. I mean, who wouldn’t want to cook steaks on (unusually secluded) beach with a hot girl? Did I mention the steaks? That was the best part. What? It’s about lunch time.

This episode wasn’t bad overall. A few things that were particularly funny or noteworthy that I noticed while watching: Minus the dramatic music, these establishing shots could easily be a tourist attraction video. “Oh God,” “Oh yeah, you said that a lot” is an easy joke, but still funny. Also, good to see that the sister is going to slut it up a little while staying with her brother. She also found the Champ box if nothing else to remind us that it existed. And “Triple Banana Bitch” would be a good band name. Actually, wait, it wouldn’t.