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Malama Ka ‘Aina Review: The Name of the Game (Who’s Your Daddy?)

I think I'll watch an awesome episode of Hawaii Five-0 today. Who's in?

Episode 2 (called “Ohana”) ends with McG promising Kono, Danny and Chin that they are now a family and Episode 3 begins with a family outing! I don’t begrudge 1.2 the “Ohana” name because that episode showed us the start of the family. But, of course, it could be a perfectly good title for this episode as well, because this episode is actually all about families: McG’s. Danny’s. Chin and Kono’s. The Gangs. The Mafia. And the lengths to which you would go to protect your family.

It’s a common time-saving cliche of crime tv that the cops are already conveniently at the scene of the crime when the crime occurs. This episode takes that trope to the next level, giving it some real world consequences, with Rachel threatening to reduce Danny’s custody. This creates the opportunity for McG to provide protection to Danny and by extension, Grace, who at this moment in time is Danny’s only connection to Hawaii.

Meanwhile, the family element of Chin and Kono’s relationship receives emphasis with Chin Ho’s situation (vis-a-vis HPD) presented as not just a career penalty (like it was in the last two episodes) but one that had personal-life impacting consequences as well.

I think this must be what God looks like.

The case of the week is a clever blend of Hawaii and New Jersey (just like our new team) and the mystery unravels quickly and smoothly with only a couple of hiccups. I have always had a problem that McG and Danny zero in on the Quarterback with the gun in his backpack instead of going after the adult who they saw giving the Quarterback the gun – but this is done to generate the conflict between McG and Danny (our “what the hell is the matter with you” moment of the episode) to remind us that this partnership is still pretty fresh, and there isn’t 100% trust or understanding between these two yet.

Guess who won this argument?

The tradeoff for the conflict between McG and Danny in the locker room is that it leads us to one of my favorite stunts of the entire series! McG takes a guy head first into a crystal bowl at International Marketplace. I love this stunt so much, let me break it down for you. We start with McG running, always a favorite.


Then we have an establishing shot:

An innocent Pick Your Pearl kiosk with an appropriately terrified baddie running towards it.

McG cuts through the wind-chimes and sun-catchers, cutting off the baddie’s escape.

A velociraptor!

Then someone who is hopefully Justin (Alex’s stunt double) tackles the baddie and crashes them both into the kiosk, glass shards flying everywhere!

So exciting!!

So McG subdues the baddie & arrests him but in this series of caps I think it’s very clear that no one will feel sorry for this baddie in the least.

This cap is just so Danny knows McG has his wallet. Only reason.

Huh. Whaddya know. McG has a back tat.

Yup. For sure that's a tattoo on his lower back.

Oh thank goodness the baddie was subdued, I was so worried.

And of course, along with some action, this episode full-on brings the pretty with the boys in their Whale Suits and Kono getting her geisha on.


Seriously Sweet Kono K!

Anybody like the side smirk? I thought I heard something about that -- but I guess not. Sorry for including such an unattractive picture. A thousand apologies.

But this episode? I actually watch for the plot! And by plot I mean the characters, their conversations, their development and background. There really wasn’t much of any wasted time in this episode. Everything really flows, and it all ties together really well. The writing is crisp. There are so many memorable lines and exchanges in this episode that I can’t even start pointing them out –I may as well have posted the entire script. Finally, the episode is beautifully shot.


I want to go to there.

Stately Edwards Manor

But back to the family. Out on the boat, McG goes out of his way to explain about aumakuas: the protectors of families, the spiritual protector, the physical protector. I’m not sure what a shark-spirit looks like when it’s thinking about protecting his or her family group from threats of danger, but it probably looks a little like this.

He can't wait to meet your ex.

Or This.

He's gonna do something about it.

The scene on the boat is my favorite scene in the episode (like The Pilot, it had a lot of tough competition, there are almost no bad/unmemorable scenes in this entire episode!) but this one is the perfect mix of drama, outrageousness, humor and emotion. It really just has it all.

McG is obviously concerned and invested in Danny’s difficulties and Danny, pre-occupied with said difficulties, doesn’t even notice how much so. He doesn’t know McG well enough yet (neither do we, really – this is one of the ways in which we learn) that McG has a generosity of spirit, notices these things, and is a giver. A fixer of problems. And someone who will do what it takes to protect his family. The family he has chosen, to replace the one he lost.

McG’s in a position of power wherever he goes because he has literally nothing to lose and everything to gain. Here in Hawaii, Danny’s practically helpless. He can’t stop bad things from happening. And he ain’t too proud to beg.

His face makes me feel things.

Maybe you’re not as alone around here as you think, Danno. I kind of blank out after this wonderful moment… partly because I’m not sure what McG was going for asking “how much of your soul did you just lose?” and I have no idea what “measuring” as a response really means, but oh well, we got our Moment (broment?) of the episode so I will not complain.

Danny reaches out.

And we end the episode with the Ohana, some popcorn and some streaming video originally shot in the early ’90s. This scene could just as easily been set in a living room as a conference room. Memories and reminisces. Easy smiles and home videos. And it’s so poignant and touching to me that it is in this family environment that the team finally finds its name – and the name, like the creation of the team itself, is the legacy of John McGarrett.


This episode gets a solid 7.7/10 score from me. I pretty much loved it all.
Thanks for reading! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

About SJ2

I am good with: Details, Bad Ideas, Hilarity, Sarcasm and Overthinking! I kid because I care!


48 thoughts on “Malama Ka ‘Aina Review: The Name of the Game (Who’s Your Daddy?)

  1. Ok…confession time……i rewatched this a few weeks back and spent 5 minutes slo-momoing the scene where he tackles the bad guy in the market…..yep. over and over, frame by precious frame. I must say…i think if the back tatt were to be exposed a fraction of an inch more we would have seen some butt cleavage. I’m soooooooo v v mildly curious to see that tatt in its entirety.

    Posted by LaHagela (The Tinkler) | April 19, 2012, 5:16 pm
  2. I loved this episode. When I finally saw it.

    I love that it took me from one of the episodes that Danny annoyed me the most to one that kind of endeared him to me. The scene at the gate about Grace was a wonderful scene. Again, I wish I’d seen this epi when it actually aired instead of sometime toward the end of the season.

    I love the story of how they got their name. Updated for this h50 reboot. I also love Steve’s “Why pass when you can run?” because that reminds me of my boy Tebow and that play they showed McG running, is actually a key play he used to win 2 National Championships. TY very much!

    About your screencaps:
    1. please don’t ever include another cap so hideous as the side smirk again. What were you thinking?
    2. In that first cap of Steve/Danny, was Danny standing on a box? Because he is not that tall…as seen in the bottom screencap.
    3. Grace Park is goooooorgeous. That is all.
    4. I get a little scared when looking at the scuffle at Int’l Marketplace. I mean, that guys foot comes up in a very dangerous fashion and poor Alex gets kicked in the jewels way too much on this show. I wonder if that’s why they killed off Hesse??
    5. back tatt! *hee*

    Posted by ESS @H50BAMF | April 19, 2012, 5:55 pm
  3. Thanks again for your wonderful insight in this episode. The first 3 episodes should have been called the Ohana trilogy it seems.
    My thoughts: They had a wonderful opportunity to create a re-occuring role here, with cousin Sid – we have never seen or heard of him again (in my opinion I don’t mind because I think they did not cast the character well)
    The scene outside the gate most probably earn Scott his Golden Globe nomination.
    I’m interested to know that the Danno fangirls say about him and Kono kissing “undercover”? That is a screencap.I haven’t really search for yet…and it might be interesting to see.

    Posted by FOYeur | April 19, 2012, 11:07 pm
    • Memorable moment: Team meeting Gracie for the first time…..so well done in the whole relaxed setting of a football match – Chin making his name easy to remember for Gracie, by showing her his chin (priceless)
      Just want to also mention wonderful vein p0rn…very first picture (just that subtle hint) and last pic of the tackle (in its full glory)…thanks again!!

      Posted by FOYeur | April 20, 2012, 12:27 am
    • Ohana Trilogy!! Yes!! These 3 eps are for sure a little mini-series unto themselves!

      The scene of Danno outside the gate — I don’t think anyone expected that level of emotionality (is that a word?) from the “hot cops in paradise” show! I certainly didn’t. So powerful.

      There are actually quite a few Danny/Kono shippers out there, because of that kiss, their emo moment in Kono’s office after her mentor was shot, the surfing lesson, their sex-ting Johnny D together & their flirting in the P Diddy ep (in the house, and when she shimmies up the telephone pole)… among other moments. There’s a lot of “there” there if you wanna ship Danny/Kono! I personally don’t think that much of it… as a Danny fangirl I think he looks good no matter what he’s doing… and that the kiss was just some quick thinking for him & Kono to get close to Sid. Didn’t read anything more into it than that. 😀

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 20, 2012, 10:51 am
  4. “And someone who will do what it takes to protect his family. The family he has chosen, to replace the one he lost. ”

    Steph I am sort of jealous (in a nice way) of you ability to use the English language to articulate your thoughts. Can I steal the above and say it to Sheila and pretend it’s mine? 😉

    I really love your recaps because they provide this deep analysis to the episode without being 5,000 words long. I especially like your focus on characterisation.

    If this pick your own pearl stand is real I will take a photo of it just for you….and hopefully some dude in cargo pants tackles me about ten seconds after. 😉

    Posted by Infant_Sardonic | April 20, 2012, 4:33 am
  5. I loved this episode sooo much. This one, airing pre-FUCUP-formation, I remember sitting in my living room, watching the end where they so subtly come up with the name? I was DYING to point that awesome moment out to someone and ended up explaining it to my ficus. Such a sad pre-FUCUP life I led.

    HS or not, the screencaps are vividly beeyutiful. The colors! Are they not using the 64-color crayola box this year? The colors don’t seem so bright to me.

    I loved the boat scene, not just because McG gets to go all badass on Doogie Howser’s BFF Vinnie Delpino. It was because this was one of the first times we saw the potential BFFITWWW-ness forming between Danny and McG. Despite being inthe middle of an… “interrogation?” they took a few minutes to have a beer and talk about the sh.tty parts of life. Loved.this.

    The appearance of BackTatt 1.0, right? It looks like the pre-enhanced version. Nice, but not the twitch-worthy new and improved version.

    Posted by KimmerNY | April 20, 2012, 7:43 am
    • Must be very smoggy in Honolulu this year, because I totally agree! The between-scene shots are as lovely as ever, but these 3 screencaps were *part* of the episode! And I don’t ever remember being blown away by the actual background scenery like I was in this ep (at least, as often as I was in this ep). I didn’t even include my screencap of the guys on the boat — with that frickin rainbow in the background! It’s so beautiful!

      ❤ the boat scene! ❤

      And totally back tatt v.1. For sure not as incredible as the "seat cushion" it kind of is now. It was just fun to get an early sighting of it!

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 20, 2012, 3:57 pm
    • Thank goodness the ficus was a good listener!!
      ACA the colours in this episode. TECHNICOLOUR!!

      Posted by heymomo | April 21, 2012, 12:14 pm
    • I love the boat scene too (and the whole episode really). I love that laugh they have together when Steve says ‘we should go and get him’.
      The side smirk – really comes into its own in the ep where Danny is drivng with the guy on the bonnet of his car. No I don’t think much of it either!

      Posted by Mary Jane | April 25, 2012, 12:46 am
  6. The T.S. has nothing on the F.W.A. <<truth!! 2.0 version much improved!

    Ficus < FUCUP do i spot a trend??

    Posted by ESS @H50BAMF | April 20, 2012, 9:40 am
  7. OMG, I read this review last night in my email. I still have information/visual OVERLOAD. The screencaps!!! I also re-watched this episode about 1 week ago. I’d never noticed the “Pick your own pearl” stand getting destroyed, must have been fixated on McG’s seeerious a.smashing face. Thank you so much for the “seat cushion” caps with wallet confirmation. Flashing the back tat is AWESOME! Love it!

    Their FAAAAACESSSSS! Oops, I think I already said that earlier………

    Loving these reviews v v much, keep up the great job, Steph!!!!! You are truly doing a service to FUCUP womanity. Can you tell I’m hyped up on McG overload?
    ::takes swig of Alex Elixir::

    Posted by Andr3a (Hawaii 5-0 FUCUP Blogazine) | April 20, 2012, 5:32 pm
  8. Happily, I’ve just watched this episode in anticipation of this review!
    – I love it when McG runs. LOVE. And his running faaaaace! LOVE.
    – I was wondering if McG had his wallet on him during this scene, so thanks for clearing that up. Actually, I should probably check again *scrolls up*. Yup.
    – Flashes of McG’s back tat make me a happy girl.
    – Flashes of McG’s ankles also make me a happy girl. He really needs to show more leg more often.
    – The boys in their suits… *sigh*

    I agree that the dialogue in this ep was right on. Show was really focusing on developing the characters at this point, giving us a ton of information about who they all were and what they were all about, and they did it simply through the conversations they were all having. Perfect.

    Love when they all met Gracie. Love the Ohana metaphors. Love the trust developing between Steve and Danny.

    Agreed – this is just a great episode.

    Posted by heymomo | April 21, 2012, 12:10 pm

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