HAWAII FIVE-0 3.09 ‘Ha’awe Make Loa’ (‘Death Wish’)
Episode Title: "Ha'awe Make Loa" ("Death Wish")
Writer: Bill Haynes
Director: Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Previously on "Hawaii Five-0"
When coming up with cool and clever ways to promote CBS' upcoming "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show," someone decided that throwing a random "model stalker" plot into an episode of "Hawaii Five-0" was a good idea. And to be fair, we've seen worse product placement on this show, but this wasn't much better.
"H50" is all about random guest stars so in addition to a gaggle of lingerie models in danger we also had a bank robbery plot involving Rumer Willis and C. Thomas Howell. Neither plot line was all that interesting, but the episode did have its redeeming moments.
Before that though, let's take a moment to gripe about the over-reliance on forensic technology in this hour. I can accept the ability of 5-0's resident lab rat, Charlie Fong to locate a perp on a crowded airport's security feed using just a police sketch. But Chin's use of "vascular mapping" technology to ID C. Thomas Howell's mob enforcer was just too easy. Sure, it's super cool tech that fun to see in action, but it takes away from good ole' fashion detective work and storytelling.
But with two cases running simultaneously, this episode had to take some short cuts. The bank robbery involving Max's love interest, Sabrina (Rumer Willis) gave us some great action sequences, including a rooftop chase between McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) and Cordova (C. Thomas Howell) which culminated with McG getting an innocent bystander out of the path of a Mack truck, just in time. Oh and we also got the chase scene between McGarrett and that naked guy in the grass skirt who was tripping on shrooms. Good stuff.
Over in the dangerous world of the Victoria's Secret beach photo shoot, Danny (Scott Caan) had Fong run handwriting analysis on a threatening note found in the models' trailer. And just like that, Fong got a hit on a woman with a record for stalking celebrities. Danny nabbed the perp moments after she broke into one of the girls' hotel rooms with a knife and scored tickets to a fashion show for his bravery. Like the models themselves, there wasn't much meat on this one. Bahati Prinsloo, who played herself, seemed to have fun with the limited role she was given. Too bad they couldn't involve her in one of the show's big action sequences. Maybe beating a baddie on the beach over the head with a giant Flexxfill? Just a thought.
Unfortunately, the bank robbery plot was a little too hard to believe. Heck, even Kono (Grace Park) had a hard time wrapping her head around this one. A man with terminal cancer is shunned by his family after repeatedly letting them down so he hires a contract killer, also with terminal cancer, to stage a bank robbery where he gets to play hero by tackling the robber? Maybe if we didn't have the "model stalker" case running in the background, this could have worked, but both storylines suffered from being jammed into one episode. I was also hoping C. Thomas Howell, who is great on "Southland," would have a larger role. Aside from his scene in the jungle with McGarrett, we didn't see much of him.
But hey, at least Kono was front and center here and had a few funny lines. And Rumer Willis pulled through after getting shot in the abdomen. Will she and Masi Oka make the strangest couple on television or was this just a one time deal? And thankfully, we had a break from the never-ending Momma McG/Wo Fat saga.
Though things fell into place a little too easily, "Death Wish" still hit most of the marks I look for in a good episode of "Hawaii Five-0." Big action sequence? Check. Corny jokes? Kono had 'em covered. Random guest stars? How about Rumer Willis, C. Thomas Howell and a bunch of lingerie models? Sounds like "Hawaii Five-0" to me.