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03 January 2012 @ 06:30 pm
Random Thoughts on Hawaii 5-0  
Especially season 2. Spoilers can't be avoided.

I stumbled onto Hawaii 5-0 on a plane from the east coast to California this past summer. With nothing else to do, I decided to watch H50 on the trip. I hardly ever watch TV and was vaguely aware that the were remaking Hawaii 5-0. But I had no interest in watching it when it came on the air. Two episodes later and I was hooked. When I got home from California, I downloaded season 1 from iTunes and watched all 24 episodes over one weekend. (Yeah, OCD can take me over when I least expect it.) 

After I watched all the episodes, I rewatched the ones I really loved. Then my sister, with whom I share our house, wanted to know what I was watching so intently on my computer. I showed her a small piece of the episode I was watching and when she saw Steve, that was it. Plus she loved how Steve and Danny reacted to one another. So I watched all the episodes again with my sister.

All of this is purely background to say that I experienced a lot of the fabulousness of H50 in a short amount of time. Thankfully, I saw the final episode of season 1 in late June so my wait to get Steve out of jail was not as long as if I had seen it when it originally aired. 

There were numerous reasons I became addicted to Hawaii 5-0. I know it isn't a surprise that I loved the things we all love the most - the carguments, the interplay between Steve and Danny, the balance brought by Chin, Kono's general bad-assness. And I loved that they were family - ohana. They had each other's backs like a family and a team should. 

Finally, after waiting for what seemed like forever, season 2 started. The first episode was everything I could have hoped for, and more. Except. Where were Rachel and Grace? "The baby isn't mine" is not the way that story line should have been wrapped up. Danny stayed in Hawaii for Steve instead of going home to New Jersey. And it's dismissed with one sentence? No. Just no.

I liked the fact that Joe White joined the show. It gave depth to Steve's background. I never felt like Joe was taking time away from the core team - he added just the right depth.

But what about Kono? Steve actually stole the money. Why was Kono taking the entire rap? Why wasn't Steve or Danny or Chin trying to get Kono exonerated? I know the whole 'use Kono to take down the dirty cops' thing was the reason she supposedly lost her badge but Steve didn't know any of that. Kono disappeared and no one seemed to care. 

And then there was Lori. I don't have anything against the actress. I'm sure she's a lovely person. But what does Lori bring to the party? She takes up screen time and that's it. She's supposed to be this 'profiler' but she never profiles anyone. The Governor wanted her to 'babysit' the team - presumably hold them accountable. Does she ever report back to him? What is her background? Who is she??? She's cypher and I think that's one of the reasons some of the most vocal fans don't like her. She takes up space and doesn't add any necessary elements to the show. The only truly memorable Lori scene was when she dressed up for Max's movie night. That made her 'real.'

And where has Max been? He becomes a regular and we see even less of him. It's not that I would expect him to have whole story lines (not that I would object at all). That's not his place. He was in the first quarter of the season but has since disappeared. Don't make him a regular then ignore him.

Clearly, I've spent too much time thinking about this, as though it really matters. I know it's just a TV show. But by the same token, I feel like the writers/producers/whomever have broken our trust. They wrote Steve and Danny as the 'married couple' the first season and we all loved it. They stuck Lori in to - what - make it clear Steve and Danny weren't married? We get it. If that's the point, don't send Catherine off to God-knows-where. Give her more booty calls. We loved those.

Last season we spent a lot of time at Steve's house. ('A lot' is clearly relative. But it seems like there was a scene at Steve's at least once every other show.) We've been kept out of Steve's house for the most part this season. And that means we are less grounded in them as people - people we care about, people with lives, people who love and sleep and live like the rest of us. Now they are Action Figures with barely any internal lives at all. That's why Grace has hardly been in the show. Danny doesn't even talk about her or talk to her. That is not how he acted last season. 

I'm disappointed that they have taken the character-driven essence away from the show and made it one more procedural. Those 'procedures' are more times than not just a hot mess that frankly barely make sense. Not that we watch for the plot - no one would believe that. 

Last year, I liked how the toolbox was the lynchpin to the mystery. Of course, this season no one has as much as mentioned the toolbox. We've had it replaced by Shelburne. 

I don't mind the season-long Shelburne mystery. To me, it's kind of grafted on but I still find it fascinating. And I have a theory! 

Please note - this theory is based on no hard facts. It is all supposition and hearsay. Well, not even hearsay. I'm making it up as I go.

My theory is that Joe White is Shelburne. He helped fake Steve's mother's death. She's alive in Japan. She somehow found out about the Governor and the Yakuza so they blew her car up to make it look like she's dead. (Okay, then maybe she's not in Japan.) Hiro Noshimuri knows she's alive which is why Joe had to help Hiro fake his own death. Hiro's brother was the one that was supposed to blow up Mrs. McGarrett's car so Hiro would know she's alive. 

Wo Fat doesn't know that Joe is Shelburne but does know that Shelburne has enough evidence to put Wo Fat away for good. Imagine if Hiro told Joe/Shelburne everything he knows about Mrs. McGarrett's murder and how the Yakuza operate? Wo Fat would be terrified of Shelburne.

Here are some problems/questions I have with the entire story arch/inconsistencies as a whole. Some may be of my own making because I do tend to make things up without realizing it:
  1. Let's talk about The Key for a minute. The key that was in The Toolbox and fit the antique desk in the Governor's study. The antique key that Steve broke into the mansion the first time to use on the antique desk. What did he find in the desk drawer after he used the key? Pictures of (poor) Laura Hill returning the items from the toolbox back to Steve. That's cool. I'd lock those up too if I were the Governor. But...uhm.... why did Steve's father have the key? Do you see the problem here?
  2. What was Wo Fat doing in the 20-odd years between Mrs. McGarrett's death and Mr. McGarrett's murder? Why did he wait 20 years to order Victor Hesse to murder Jack? 
  3. And speaking of that 20 year gap - according to the Hawaii government's website, the governor can serve 2 terms of 4 years. So Pat Jameson couldn't have been Governor when Mrs. McGarrett was killed. We are supposed to think that the car bomb was to stop Jack from continuing his investigation into the Governor's ties with the Yakuza. But Jameson couldn't have been Governor then AND be Governor when Jack was murdered.
  4. Why did Wo Fat use Jenna to lure Steve to North Korea? Does he have some reason to think Shelburne is in North Korea? Wo Fat's never had any trouble coming into the US. Why drag Steve all the way over there to torture him? What sense does that make?
  5. Why didn't Steve investigate Mokoto's murder? Are we sure he's dead? And if he is, could Joe have killed him? Joe tells Steve Mokoto's dead "and it's our fault. We did this." Well what the hell do you expect, Joe? Steve had never heard of Mokoto until you introduced them. And then you blame Steve for the man's murder? What???
And that is what I have to say on that. 

Thoughts? Opinions? You are welcome to disagree, argue, agree, debate. I only ask that you do so congenially. I hate conflict in real life and am no more comfortable with it in cyberspace.

Thanks for reading!
Current Mood: contemplative
sans_souci2sans_souci2 on January 4th, 2012 01:39 am (UTC)
Panic Not!!
I agree with a lot of what you said.
I don't have time to respond as much as I'd like to but you really hit some of the shows blips this season.
YES- Let us back into Steve's house -I love the way you phrased it-we're less grounded in the characters as people when so much of the show is procedural.
I want Max (and Gracie too PLEASE, ditto Rachel-she helped us understand and feel for Danny) And who knows, you may be right re Joe and Shelburne and the whole long drawn out arc!

Crazily- ratings were way high for last night's ep- what's with that????

Anyway-glad you found the show and love your thoughts!
Are 6 dogs too many?tkeylasunset on January 5th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
Re: Panic Not!!
Steve's house could be the heart and soul of the show. Are they afraid to let us go back there? It's where Steve and Danny started!!! Don't just pretend we've never been there.

Max and Grace - Yes!!!

Thanks for your comments!!
The Huntress: SteveWhyMehuntress69 on January 4th, 2012 02:57 am (UTC)
I agree with a bunch of your post, and here are some thoughts of mine: I think the investigation was not into "The Governor" but to Jameson herself, but they referred to her as the Gov. Lori should be seen reporting to Denning at least every other episode; I also teeter between liking her and wanting to smack the shit out of her. Joe should just come clean with Steve, because Steve is going to investigate, and at least if Joe told him all of it, Steve could either help or, however unlikely as it is, stay out of it, but he has not been given any kind of choice. No, we haven't seen Grace, and barely a mention, but she is back on the island. I think for the gap of time, Wo Fat may have not considered anything a threat or maybe he was not so high up the "food chain" then and may have been kept out of the proverbial loop until such time as he took over. I miss Steve's house also and I want Catherine back and have made no secret of it LOL. Lori and Steve have no chemistry whatsoever; even in canon it's like she's trying really hard to hit on him, and probably keeps trying harder because he keeps brushing her off. And what happened to Gabrielle? Danny was so cute around her, he is adorable when tongue-tied - she came and went. Whew! I think I got a bunch out here and thanks for the post.
Are 6 dogs too many?: 2 guystkeylasunset on January 5th, 2012 02:28 am (UTC)
That makes sense - that Jack was investigating "the Governor," not necessarily Pat Jameson.

Joe needs to tell Steve the truth. Maybe next original episode it will finally happen? Seems that way from the descriptions I've seen?

Grace - where have you been? Call your Danno!!

Gabby is sweet. She can visit as often as she wants!

Thanks for your response!
silver_blossomsilver_blossom on January 4th, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
You are not alone!
I agree with you on several points that you have so articulately adressed. The horrible truth is that the writing for season two has been so weak!

The important issues that most fans care more about were hastily sweeped under the rug. Was I releived that the baby wasn't Danny's? Yes, but I wanted to see some interaction between him and Rachel to finally get some clousure. To me, they never should have hooked them up again because it's so much braver writing to show a divorced couple slowly but surely rebuild a relationship. Not a romantic one. Maybe, not even a friendship, but to show that sooner or later we grow and are able to put our differences aside.

I won't even get started on the Kono situation. Very poorly handled.

The whole series has gone off track. They went from a character driven show to a plot driven show.

Don't be embarresed about being a little obsessed with the show! I bought the first season without even having seen a promo for an episode. I just had a hunch that I would like it!
Are 6 dogs too many?: beach chairtkeylasunset on January 5th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
Re: You are not alone!
Thank you for the lovely response.

The writing this season has been decidedly different from last year. And it is off-track. Don't give us a character show in season 1 and take it all away in season 2. That's all we're saying.

Did your hunch pay off? :-)

Thanks again.
silver_blossomsilver_blossom on January 6th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
Re: You are not alone!
Yeah! My hunch definetly paid off! If I hadn't fallen so in love with the characters in season one, I wouldn't have been able to stick with Five 0 this season.
lou_clou_c on January 4th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
I pretty much agree with all you have said. I also watched intensively as a late starter. My first live ep was #20 aka the one where Danny draws air hearts. </p>

I love your questions posed at the end. Yeah wth was jack doing with that key!!

#2 I always sort of thought that following the the Hesse brothers skipping around the world kept Steve out of wo fats hair. But jack was getting too close ( to whatever the hell he was close to) so wo fat had Hesse kill jack to get Steve back to the island and finish him too. And sacrificing his own brother in the process.

Are 6 dogs too many?: danno wreathtkeylasunset on January 5th, 2012 02:38 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Episode #20 was also a favorite - the air heart, the fish with the bullet, good times!

Clearly Jack thought something else was hidden in the drawer. My only explanation is that Doctor Who time traveled the key backward to Jack so Steve could find the photos. (Or IDK Spock brought it with him from the future?) Other than that, it didn't make any sense. Do you suppose they think we don't notice? Or they don't pay as much attention as we do? If it's #2, hire some of us to make sure your plots are, I don't know, consistent? A little plausible? Something?

Maybe Wo Fat did have Jack killed so Steve was easier to find. I hadn't considered that!

Thanks for your response!
StarWatcherstarwatcher307 on January 4th, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)
I'm disappointed that they have taken the character-driven essence away from the show

This, in giant red letters with purple star-bursts enhancing them. I wish the producers / writers / directors could each get 1,000,000 pieces of mail saying exactly this. Thank you for articulating it so well.
Are 6 dogs too many?: happy stevetkeylasunset on January 5th, 2012 02:46 am (UTC)
Thank you!
We don't need no more stinkin' procedurals. We want carguments and Steve using hand grenades to open doors and Mr. Hoppy. We want our ohana back. With Grace and Max. And shaved ice!
biketest: dannobiketest on January 4th, 2012 07:13 am (UTC)
Yes, you said this all perfectly. This show would be nothing special without the basis of the team chemistry, and it feels like the writers are just abandoning the most important part of their show. I also agree that Joe's storyline is pretty good and that Lori adds nothing.
That's a very interesting theory! I could totally see it being true, I don't trust Joe one bit.
Are 6 dogs too many?: danny npdtkeylasunset on January 5th, 2012 02:54 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Well, somehow I managed to reply to the wrong comment. Let me see if I can get it right now!

We do need more ohana!!! If it ain't broke, stop trying to fix it!! Please.

I don't trust Joe either although I think he adds an interesting dimension. And he doesn't annoy me the way Lori does. I agree with you "Lori adds nothing." Sad but true.

Thank you again!
bookaddict43bookaddict43 on January 4th, 2012 10:54 am (UTC)
You pose a lot of interesting questions and I do agree with most of your points too.

Joe's character irritates me more than Lori's in lots of ways. Because he's supposed to care about Steve and really he's not helping at all by not telling him everything.

I'm hoping the writers are reading all the fan commentary from everywhere and have been writing better for the 2nd half. If not we have to wait for season three. Cross your fingers we get one!

Season 2 of H50 is kind of reminding me of Merlin. S2 for that show only had a couple of really great eps compared to S1. With the same amount of fanly griping too!! Then S3 improved a bit and S4 is even better. I'm hoping our show will do the same but earlier.

Are 6 dogs too many?: shadowstkeylasunset on January 5th, 2012 02:58 am (UTC)
Joe doesn't annoy me even though I don't trust him. How can he continually jerk Steve around when he supposedly cares so much about him? On the other hand, he was forced out of the Navy because he went to North Korea and didn't hold it against Steve.

I do worry that if they don't right their house, we'll all get fed up and there won't be a season 3 for us to rant/squeal over. I don't watch Merlin but maybe "sophomore slump" is a common problem?

Thank you again!
StarbucksSuestarbuckssue on January 4th, 2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
I think you've made some very interesting points. I did wonder about the key from Jameson's office when all it contained was photos of Laura Hill's death.

I've also thought about the delay between Steve's mother's death and Jack's, Wo Fat does not seem that old so would have been pretty young at the time Steve's mother died so I'm wondering if the connection is not direct.

We know that the reason Jack was investigating Jameson was fairly recent after the meeting with the old guy in the first episode of s2, especially with the meeting between Jack, Jameson and Wo Fat, and most of the things in the toolbox seem to relate to that investigation, apart from the photos of Steve's mother's death.

How I see it is that Steve's mother was killed due to a case involving the Yakuza that Jack was working on at the time, although he knows she was murdered - which obviously was never solved - he doesn't realise that it's all connected until he starts investigating Jameson, which I'm guessing was possibly only in the year before his death, it's only when Wo Fat realises how close he's getting that he has Jack killed.

I'm also not certain that Wo Fat was around/in charge at the time of Steve's mother's death, he may not have been head of the Yakuza, may be only a low ranking member. Also Jameson wouldn't have been Governor then but, again, may have been a low ranking politician. Maybe she and Wo Fat worked together to help each other reach their goals of head of Yakuza/Governor so that they could both cover and assist each other.

I'm not convinced about Lori, I can see why the Governor would bring her in, but, if so there should be meetings between them where Lori either tattles or supports Five-0, as there has been no intervention by Denning I can only assume that she is reporting back behind the scenes in support of the team, however, I don't like the way her appearance has diluted the team dynamic, it was perfect in the first season but her addition to the team has spoiled that in a way that Jenna's addition didn't because she wasn't there all the time!

I'm still on the fence over Joe, I liked the way he brought in some more background to Steve's character but for someone who was close to Jack, and we know he was at Steve's mother's funeral and when Jack sent the children away, and they want us to think he's a surrogate father figure he's going about it the wrong way. Knowing how much Steve hated that his father kept him in the dark over what was going on Joe's doing the same thing. By not getting the tape transcribed, holding out on other information, etc, he's not inspiring confidence for us or for the team and he's letting Steve down, Steve's had enough of that. He could be Shelburne, that would be interesting! I also can't believe that all they made of the tape of the meeting between Jack/Pat/Wo Fat was just one name, it seems to me that they didn't even get a full transcription from Kensi from everything on the tape which seems a little strange.

I'm not sure about Steve's mother being alive, I think Jack's actions of sending Steve and Mary away the moment their mother was buried, and the way he did it separately and not even allowing them to stay together or apparently not have any contact until they were of age, was heartbreaking enough for the children, I can't see that he'd have the heart to lie to them as well, if anything I think if he'd known they were in danger he would have sent them away with her for safety and not break up the family completely the way he did.

There's no reason for not including Grace, I know the actress isn't available but Rachel doesn't have to be there as we can just see Danny picking Grace up from school or home and without Rachel appearing, they've done it before, and Danny can speak to Rachel on the phone, the actress doesn't have to be there if we only hear his side of the conversation.

They could have made so much more of Danny living with Steve, it was a golden opportunity to bring in background for both characters, we know they are close so small confidences or memories shared during beers on the beach or football games on tv could have fleshed them out even with short scenes.
Are 6 dogs too many?: danny npdtkeylasunset on January 6th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful response. You make some excellent points. I guess Wo Fat was too young to have been in charge of the Yakuza when Mrs. McGarrett was killed.

I want to like Joe but I just don't trust him. If he betrays Steve too it could be very very bad!!!

Is "Rachel" on a show in New Zealand/Australia? I guess I didn't realize she was unavailable. Even if she can't be there, last year, like you said, we saw a lot of Grace without Rachel. Why keep Grace from us this year? That is all kinds of wrong. Danny could at least talk to her on the phone!

Danny with Steve could have been a gold mine. That was a wasted opportunity! Don't give us an epic bromance in the first season then spend the entire second season pretending it never existed. Show! Make up your mind!!!

Thanks again!! Next new episode should be good re: Shelburne! At least that's what we've been told!
genagirlgenagirl on January 4th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
'm disappointed that they have taken the character-driven essence away from the show and made it one more procedural. THIS! I loved the first season but they changed the whole feel of the show. It's not just adding Lori that screwed things, it's a whole bunch of things that have tilted it to one side and made it a different show. I hate when this happens, the first season is great so the producers or whoever decide to make it "better" and change the feel of what we loved until we don't love it as much anymore. I still like H50 but not like I did the 1st season.
Are 6 dogs too many?: happy stevetkeylasunset on January 6th, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
I agree 110%. I still enjoy it but not like I did during the first season. What is it with trying to fix things that aren't broken??? Give us back the bromance, the carguments, the "whole long have you been married" jokes. That's what we really enjoy!! The procedurals are... you know... available in lots of shows. No other show has the Steve/Danny dynamic. Not even H50 this season!

Thanks so much!
siluria: H50_Boys_closesiluria on January 5th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
I'm disappointed that they have taken the character-driven essence away from the show and made it one more procedural.


Many points perfectly said!
Are 6 dogs too many?: mcdannotkeylasunset on January 6th, 2012 03:02 am (UTC)
Thank you!!! Show - please give us back what we loved the most. Stop trying to fix something that's not broken!!!