Another week, another programming gimmick for Hawaii Five-0. The soundtrack for Episode 13 featured seven previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix songs.
The tunes will be a new Hendrix album, “People, Hell and Angels,” which goes on sale March 5.
They say the CBS audience skews older. I guess so, because even though I’m in my mid-40a, I’m too young to have a connection with Hendrix, who died in 1970 when I was 3 years old. So I can’t say much about the music, other than it seem to fit with the episode, much of which took place in Oahu’s Halawa prison.
The unusual Sunday episode – immediately following the NFL’s AFC Championship game – began with Kono and Adam Noshimuri (Ian Anthony Dale) sharing a bath. A phone rings. Believe it or not, Adam leaves the naked Kono in the tub to take the call. “I told you not to call me at this number,” Kono hears him say. He continues in another language. After he hangs up, he tells Kono he has to go. While he dresses, Kono surreptitiously checks his caller ID. (By the end of the episode, she’s cloning his phone.)
The next morning, Steve, Danno and Catherine are at a picnic table by Kamekona’s shrimp truck. Catherine is wearying military camouflage fatigues and looks like the character she played on ABC’s Combat Hospital. The big man (Taylor Wily) is giving them a taste of his new Sunrise Fusion Shrimp Breakfast Burrito. After a brief digression into the history of Spam, Steve and Catherine take bites. Danno wants none of it. Steve and Catherine grimace, and Steve calls the taste “interesting.” Danno tries to order a regular breakfast burrito, but Kamekona refuses. “A true chef never, never compromises his culinary vision,” he says.
Kono approaches the table on in-line skates.
- Danno: “Wow! Look at that: bringing back the 80s with the Rollerblades. [To Steve:] You got those Duran Duran cassette tapes you can lend her?”
- Kono: “Yeah, you know. Going for a workout. Keeping in shape. But I am ‘Hungry Like the Wolf.’”
Who would’ve thought the writers would slip a gratuitous Duran Duran reference into a show featuring Hendrix tunes.
In the next scene, Chin Ho wakes up in the middle of the night and finds himself shackled to his bed with two men standing over his bed.
Is that another Baldwin brother? Yes it is!
Daniel Baldwin, the most obscure of the four, is playing Paul Delano, brother of the late Frank Delano (William Baldwin). Frank was behind the death Chin Ho’s wife, Malia, in the Season 3 premiere, and Chin Ho shot him dead at the end of that episode. Now, it seems, it’s Paul’s turn to take revenge.
Chin Ho wakes up in a prison cell. He doesn’t know how he got there but realizes he must get out before the other inmates discover he’s a cop.
Can he survive long enough for the rest of the team to find and rescue him? This is where we learn:
- why the writers really brought Sang Min (Will Yun Lee) back to Hawaii in the previous week’s episode; and
- why Kamekona needed to buy a helicopter the week before that, even though his tour business had yet to get off the ground.
When the inmates are let out of their cells for exercise, Sang Min spots Chin Ho immediately. Chin Ho runs straight to a guard to explain that he’s a cop and shouldn’t be there. Yeah, like he’s going to believe that. But he does – or so Chin Ho thinks until the guard leads him deeper into the prison rather than out. The guard motions for Chin Ho to enter an industrial-sized laundry room then locks the door behind him. Chin looks back at the door in surprise, the forward again to see Kaleo (Jason Scott Lee), a physically imposing former cop that the Five-0 team helped put in prison in Season 1.
Fighting ensues, during which the guard, watching through a small window, is whacked on the head with a makeshift metal bar. Kaleo is next, and we see that the person wielding the baton is our old friend Sang Min.
The Five-0 member with probably the least exposure to Sang Min, Chin Ho wants to know why he should trust the felon.
“Well, ’cause I just saved your sorry ass from Kaleo,” he says. “Also, Five-0 brought me to this island … so I could be closer to my kid. I owe you.”
He also admits that having friends with access to the governor could come in handy down the road.
Sang Min says that to escape, Chin Ho will need the help of someone who can think outside the box. His idea: Set a fire. When the firefighters arrive, Chin Ho can make his way out through the chaos. So they start a fire, but a full-blown prison riot breaks out and a pissed-off Kaleo takes charge.
Chin Ho and Sang Min must play cat and mouse with a horde of rioting inmates egged on by Kaleo over the prison’s public-address system. Along the way, they rescue prison nurse Leilani, played by Lindsay Price (Lipstick Jungle, Coupling and the final two seasons of Beverly Hills 90210). I like Price. She is a good actress and a beautiful woman. But she’s also what TV critics call a “show killer.” Like Ted McGinley or Paula Marshall, her arrival on a show almost always is a harbinger of cancellation. Regardless, it looks like her character is doomed when Leilani becomes separated from Chin Ho and Sang Min and is grabbed by the same prison guard who took Chin Ho to Kaleo.
Meanwhile, nobody outside is looking for Chin Ho. His abductors used his phone to text McGarrett that he was taking a few days off. Kono remembers that it is the anniversary of his first date with Malia. Nobody realizes anything is wrong until the police shrink nobody knew Chin Ho was seeing reports that he missed an appointment.
Steve, Danno and Kono go to Chin Ho’s house and find signs of a break-in, but his wallet, keys and phone are still there.
Trace DNA on Chin Ho’s phone leads to the Delano family. Kono checks the TSA database and finds out that Paul Delano is on the island.
Aboard an aircraft carrier at Pearl Harbor, Catherine takes a phone call from Steve … again. This time, he asks her to monitor video feeds from all over Oahu for any glimpse of Paul Delano. “Roger that.”
She finds Delano leaving a hotel. Steve and Danno cut him off, shooting his henchman. They rough him up, but he won’t talk. Steve calls a number on Delano’s phone, and it’s answered by the corrupt guard, with the riot going on in the background. They realize Chin Ho in the prison, but when the team arrives on the scene, the warden won’t let them in until the riot is contained.
Inside, Chin Ho and Sang Min run into a dead end. Sang Min’s Plan B is to act like he captured Chin Ho, give him to Kaleo and try to persuade Kaleo to keep him alive as a bargaining chip. But Kaleo doesn’t buy it, and orders other inmates to take Sang Min away.
By this time, Steve, Danno and Kono have borrowed Kamekona’s helicopter and are landing in a remote part of the prison. The begin their assault on the cell block, armed with large military rifles that seem only to shoot flash grenades. But fisticuffs and flash grenades are enough to get them to the scene just as Chin Ho and Kaleo are fighting to the death. Somehow, Chin Ho prevails on his own before they reach him.
The team is ready to leave, but Chin Ho leads them to the cell where Leilani is being held. I have no idea how he know were it was. Steve bashes the lock and frees the nurse, but Chin Ho says there is another person they must rescue. He leads them to another cell, where they find the bodies of the two inmates who took away Sang Min. On a table are a scissors and the remains of Sang Min’s mullet.
“He’s gone,” Chin Ho says. Sure enough, we see him dressed as a guard walking out of the prison.
Later, at the hospital, Kono, Steve, Catherine and Danno stand at the foot of Chin Ho’s bed while Kamekona gets Chin Ho to taste test that new breakfast burrito.
“The breakfast burrito is a tough nut to crack, bro.” Chin Ho says. “Maybe you stick with plate lunches for a while.”
Leilani enters the room and the rest clear out. She thanks him for saving her life and gives I’m a small package. He opens it and finds … a nail file.
“Yeah, I figured you didn’t have on or you’d have used it.”
Sure looks like the writers are positioning her as a potential new love interest for Chin Ho. Nooooo! The end is near!
- The New York Post reports that Aisha Tyler (The Talk) will guest-star on an upcoming H50 episode.
- According to TV Line, the Feb. 4 episode will be a remake of the original series’ Emmy-winning Season 6 premiere (1973) titled “Hookman.”
Stuart J. Robinson, a college friend of the TV Tyrant, is a writer, editor, media-relations practitioner and social-media guy based in Phoenix.