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The Lanakila Review: A Spoonful of Sugar (Makes the Medicine Go Down)

Lanakila is a weird episode, yo. Lanakila means “Victory” and in this episode, there are a couple little victories, sure… Dana (the victim) wins a game show, McG wins at basketball, Kamekona wins back his girlfriend… The Five-0s win in the end (though they always do) but even so I’m not sure why the episode especially is called “Victory.”

In my opinion, the theme of the episode is forgiveness, and I don’t have to stretch too hard to make that case, we’re pretty much beat about the head & neck with it in the last 5 minutes of the ep.

We’re also introduced to some very important characters in this episode: Mary & Catherine (and Halawa Correctional, ha ha ha). But nothing about this episode is particularly victorious. Even though the villain, Dawkins, is by far the worst we have seen in the show thus far (in terms of his horrifying and utter disregard for human life), as McG stands over his dead body, this sad ethereal music is playing. It doesn’t feel like a victory. So this episode – this episode is weird to me.

I have little sisters, too, McG. I totally get it.

The episode starts with the boys going about their average days: picking up relatives from the airport & going to the doctor.

His smile haunts my heart, his eyes warm my world.

However, there’s no such thing as an average day when you’re a Five-0. Trips to the airport include dealing with you sister’s federal offenses. Doctor’s visits include rehashing old war wounds and pondering the inevitability of fate. And whether it’s your first time in a men’s public bathroom or hopping into a helicopter with someone you’re not sure can fly one, life is never boring.

Kono is not scared of guns, or knives, or fists, but boys? Boys are gross!

Life is also never boring if you are related to / involved with a Five-0. The “sugar” of this episode to me – Mary Ann & Catherine – are the reason I can’t write off Lanakila altogether. Getting to meet these two for the first time make this episode too important to just say “NEVER AGAIN!” Even though, seriously you guys, my rating for this ep is in the tank: 4.6/10 and I even looked at each scene individually, in addition to the overall criteria I normally look for, and gave each scene a letter grade. The average of all the scenes together was a C- (sadface). I want to really like this episode, but on the whole, I just don’t.

The main cast is good in this ep, and there are a few nice moments (even some all-time classics, like Aneurysm Face and the basketball game). However, there just aren’t as many character beats as I expect and way more of a “procedural” feel to the conversations than I prefer.

I seek to understand so that I may be understood.

But returning to Mary Ann & Catherine — looking back, isn’t it interesting they were introduced in the same episode? Mary Ann gets us in the mode of “Domestic McG” and then they bring in Cath. Though the McG/Cath relationship is undefined in this ep, it is unquestionably intimate. So it boggles my mind that they did not predict people would freak out when they played with hooking up McG & Lori at the start of Season 2. Did they think introducing Cath during this episode alongside Mary meant nothing?

Why hello there Lt. Rollins!

Show makes so many good character decisions, it’s hard to believe they did this double-introduction accidentally and then expected the audience not to have made this attachment/connection, even subconsciously; and I say this as someone who has no emotional investment in McG/Cath. I don’t particularly care if McG/Cath are “together,” but I totally understand why people do care that they are together, and I understand the reasons people think they are together and good together: Show gave them those ideas! They didn’t make it up out of their imaginations (like if your dream pairing was McG/Laura Hills – that would be imaginary). McG & Cath, the way they were presented, the way she was introduced, Show just can’t pretend that she doesn’t exist twenty-some episodes later if it suits their fancy – regardless of whether the relationship is best defined as “booty call” or “soul mates” or somewhere in between.

But back to Lanakila.

While not as drop-dead gorgeous as Malama Ka ‘Aina, this episode does bring the pretty in its own way, mostly thanks to the expressive acting ability of the cast, some lovely vistas care of the island-hopping helicopters, and the lush rain forest through which Chin & McG hike during the dramatic climax of the episode.

Danny, why so adorable?

McG and Danny interrogate a waitress at a pancake house in what feels like the most “normal” scene of the episode in terms of the mix of banter & character development alongside procedural developments. And this is probably just me, and a revelation of what a terrible person I am, but my very first impression of this scene, back to the fall of 2010, is that the actress who played Sophia Archuleta, the girlfriend of the fugitive Dawkins, is much too pretty to be the girlfriend of a jailbird. I know in Show’s universe, Everyone Is Beautiful, but couldn’t they have found someone just a little rough around the edges to be Ms. Conjugal Visit? I know, I’m horrible. My sincerest apologies if you are the glowingly gorgeous girlfriend of a career criminal.

He's a 'napalm in the morning' type of guy. Sign me up!

Luckily, McG & Danny are also rocking all sorts of adorable faces (not to mention, this is a good episode for those of you who are fans of the Yellow Cargo Pants). Here also is further visual proof that they don’t make Kevlar in McG’s size – completely exposing the lower third of his torso whilst simultaneously strangling him. I hope he kept his receipt!

I really like the plants in this screencap. The PLANTS.

This episode was good for some subtle character development and interactions. We see McG really care about a victim who isn’t anybody’s father/son. We see Danny pointing out to McG that he knows how to do the behind-the-scenes boring paperwork part of a criminal investigation. We see Chin, the seasoned veteran that he is, learning to be impressed with McG’s talents, skills & abilities. We see that Kono really still is a rookie after all.

This episode also features another beautiful guest actress, one of the luckiest women in the world, She Who Receives CPR From McG. That’s mouth to mouth AND chest compressions! McG, our hero, brings the lady back to life, escorts her to the hospital, and then stands there looking like this:

Someone here asked for a sweaty, out of breath McG? Whose eyes just happen to match his shirt? You're welcome.

Life just isn’t fair, I swear. But don’t forget our dear Danno, still in his ties & taking flack for it; sporting a cane like an old school pimp; injured in the “whitest” way possible: having a new partner ~ having “fun” the past few weeks with said partner ~ getting out of bed ~ But Definitely Not Surfing…

I've done this before. But thank you. My eyes also match my shirt. You're Welcome.

There are a couple of dumb plot-flow items that bug me, but only after having seen this ep a number of times do you even notice them: First, McG instructs the HPD officer to get Mary some food and escort her directly to Five-0 HQ. You would assume that they would have beat McG & Danny back to the office (as the guys were busy conducting their jailhouse investigation, subsequent interrogation of the dirty prison guard and then the basketball game) but McG & Danny appear to be alone in the office watching the video of Dana & “Craig” win the million dollars on a game show. To be fair, they are in Danny’s office, but the walls are made of glass, people! The Five-0s then conduct their rescue of Dana at the hotel, McG rides along in the ambulance to the hospital and then returns to HQ in his bloody shirt where Danny informs him that Mary’s been waiting in his office for the last “five hours.” Uh…

Secondly, I invite you to partake of this fun screen cap:

One truck, one bike, three dudes.

McG & Danny have taken the truck to the pancake house to interrogate Sophia. Chin arrives on his Harley. Love that skull & crossbones decal! Next thing we see, Chin & McG are in the truck, tracking Dawkins. … …. ….. How did Danny get back to HQ? On Chin’s motorcycle???

My thoughts:
1) No helmet?
2) No deleted scenes??
3) How unrealistic…. the guy has a torn ACL, he can’t sit with his legs at that angle – no support!
4) Darn you Show! Talk about something that people would be interested in seeing for the curiosity/character/humor/hotness factor implied! DARN YOU SHOW!!!
5) I guess Danny called a cab? Maybe Kono came & got him? (more sadface)

My favorite scene of the episode is undoubtedly the prison yard basketball. Weird to think that in less than a year McG gets shanked right here, huh? Well anyway.

Maybe the game will be shirts v skins next time?

This is probably the cleverest way McG gets information out of a criminal, the entire series to date. Funnily enough, Danny protests McG’s methods as much as he does any time things get a little unusual, before eventually conceding McG’s ideas are sound & fully supporting them. Plus, it’s amusing to see McG not that good at something (at first).

"Put a body on him?" Really? Oh, Show. I love you...

The scene is perfectly played, Alex’s under-appreciated comedic skills working McG’s serious and earnest face; Scott bringing the exasperation, eye-rolling and gesturing wildly; and D.L. Hughley is great as the in-for-life convict with nothing to lose, his devil-may-care attitude the perfect foil for “tall dark & uptight” McG.

I’m trying to get through this review without typing the words “how long you two been married,” but there, I typed it. This scene moves the plot along, has fun & looks good while doing it. Classic H50, and my Favorite Scene of the Episode.

However, in all seriousness, I do have to comment on the violence in this episode, especially that of the opening scene (which I will not watch again). I can handle the honeymoon serial killer, or the abandoned-baby-mama serial killer, or the hitman type episodes better than this one — because at the end of the day, the reason behind the violence will have made some sense (using terrible twisted logic, of course, but it’s still logic). The senseless violence of this episode, the random killings, starting with the prison guards and ending with the tourist helicopter pilot, just really make this episode un-entertaining for me in those moments. I mean, we spent time with that helicopter pilot. Show, why couldn’t he have died in the crash? He could have — and that would have made sense. But he was specifically shot & killed by Dawkins. I guess this is another thing you get to learn about me — I don’t find senseless violence entertaining. I am not a sixteen year old boy, atplenkov. Sue me.

Hot Pursuit

But if this is an episode where going forward I only want to re-watch less than half the scenes, this final scene is definitely one of them. Mary Ann is obviously a girl who’s made some poor choices in life – missing her father’s funeral may be something she regrets forever. Regret is a complicated emotion, and one many people strive to avoid, but what it does bring with it is maturity – this is more than just “learning from your mistakes.” This is growing as a person, and Mary, fragile as she appears to be at times, is maturing under the watchful eyes of her big brother.

I still get it, McG. Little sisters are something else, aren't they?

So yeah, I don’t love this episode. But I’ll keep it. And maybe that’s a little ‘victory’ too, all by itself.

About SJ2

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


58 thoughts on “The Lanakila Review: A Spoonful of Sugar (Makes the Medicine Go Down)

  1. Oh I win! Was everyone else asleep already when you posted this?

    I agree with you on the senseless violence point. It’s why I’m not really a fan of True Blood and don’t watch Game of Thrones. Even when it is being serious, h50 doesn’t normally cross that line. I am happy show is not on HBO, senseless violence gets a thumbs down from me.

    The only bits I really remember from this episode is all the character based stuff, not the crime itself.

    I too love the pancakes exchange and the basketball scene. The Mary and Steve exchanges are great too. So yes, the character stuff was, for me, pretty great, the rest of the episode, not so much.

    Posted by Infant_Sardonic | April 28, 2012, 3:26 am
    • I was disturbed by how the prison guard getting shot by the good guys was handled.

      My first thought about if show were on HBO would not be about the violence level, but the possibility that we might get senseless pantslessness! #nakedMcG. Ok, it maybe on Skinemax channel… And pantslessness is never senseless to FUCUPs. If there’s got to be senseless violence, can it be against McG’s cargopants AFTER they have been removed?

      P.S. I’m thinking about sneaking into his closet to cut “strategic” holes in all his pants! Who’s in?

      Posted by Andr3a (Hawaii 5-0 FUCUP Blogazine) | April 28, 2012, 11:38 am
    • LOL yes infant when I post late-night (for me) you probably are the only one that’s really awake. 😀 I love waking up to everyone’s comments. I’m not surprised you & I are of the same opinion of this episode!!

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 28, 2012, 11:43 am
  2. So i take it neither of you r boxing fans??

    Posted by LaHagela (The Tinkler) | April 28, 2012, 6:53 am
  3. I’m going to raise my hand proudly as being a fan of TV violence. I cannot call it “senseless” since it makes sense to me and, oftentimes, sense within the context of Show. Dawkins was a really bad dude and the body count he left along the way is what made it a race against the clock for 5-0 to find him before he killed again. Same thing will happen later on in the ep where the dad is killing all the peeps who put his son in jail. Sorry, I just woke up and the ep name escapes me. 😁

    Great review! Love the pic of Kono. I like how public bathrooms have played a role here where they find the hair dying stuff in the trash, then in 2.01 the cop finds McG’s bloody paper towels in the trash. Moral of the story, make sure you stuff evidence of your existence deeeeeep down in the trash can so that the peeps looking for you won’t find that stuff so easily.

    The interaction with Mary was my fave part of this ep. I’m glad they went this route, rather than the original plan of having her at the funeral (deleted scenes.) It makes more sense since she was still under the impression that Daddy McG abandoned them. The final seen at the gravesite is pure gold.

    SJ! No gratuitous mention of the shirtlessness moment in the office?! Along with photographic evidence of said moment?! I think I might cry real tears. Talk about “sad face.” 😢

    Another fave part of this ep was the use of the Rolling Stones in the opening scene. Worked perfectly. They haven’t used a classic song like that since. Again, sad face for me.

    Cath. I’m a little on the fence here. I liked her from the start and appreciate getting to see that side of McG now and then. Loved your analogy of Show’s bad in trying to throw LoHo into the love-interest mix and why it epically failed. I’m a bit apprehensive on where they might be taking this now that Cath will be a series regular. Many, even Alex, agree that McG’s head isn’t up for a healthy relationship, but I’m intrigued at the the thought of Show exploring that and perhaps watching McG evolve into someone who is willing to try. He’s not a fulltime SEAL anymore, so perhaps Show will try and break the taboo that SEAL’s can’t have good relationships — something they have pointed out in several episodes.

    Whew… I’ve waxed poetic too long!

    Posted by spurschick | April 28, 2012, 6:56 am
    • spurschick: [SJ! No gratuitous mention of the shirtlessness moment in the office?! Along with photographic evidence of said moment?! I think I might cry real tears. Talk about “sad face.” ]

      Yes, I agree with you. This was def a shirtless moment, but I always thought it was a little bit awkward. McG changes his shirt in front of his sister, which harshes my lust a bit, then he gives her a coffee cup to pee in? WTF? Yes, I know it’s supposed to be funny, but my reaction everytime is more like EWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! And when Kamekona the babysitter arrives, he looks at Mary like she’s on the lunch menu or something…….:::shudder::: Maybe it’s that my brain and eyes can’t process the steps from McG Shirtlessness to Kamekona to Urine Cup.

      Posted by Andr3a (Hawaii 5-0 FUCUP Blogazine) | April 28, 2012, 8:43 am
      • LOL I should have mentioned the shirt change as something working in this episode’s favor! But That shirtless moment is actually kind of difficult to screen cap nicely because the camera keeps jumping out of the office and pillars and the blinds keep getting in the way… It is a weird one. I think the distance was an attempt to keep it non-sexual as possible since yeah he’s at work… With his sister!

        Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 28, 2012, 11:09 am
    • I guess there are a lot of “types” of tv violence to get different reactions out of different viewers- I’m actually glad the opening scene of this ep works for you so well, even down to the music, because it balances out my opinion!! 😀

      I think the ep you mean is “shore” aka boulder to the face/air hearts ep.

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 28, 2012, 11:48 am
      • I’m not a fan of violence per se, but I admire Show for being brave enough to go as far as they did here. They quite often have villains who talk a good game but don’t actually manage to achieve what they set out to do (such as the buried schoolchildren), so I think it adds an extra edge that once in a while they show something like this – that these are the kinds of people 5-0 are up against, and this is why what they do is so important BUT they don’t show it very often, because seeing this kind of violence, as opposed to seeing it being threatened, doesn’t really fit with what Show is about. If you see what I mean.

        Posted by Alicia | May 11, 2012, 10:05 am
    • I also am apprehensive about the future of Cath! In almost every respect I am nervous about it.

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 28, 2012, 11:05 pm
  4. Thank you for both of the shirt-matching-eyes pictures!
    I’m glad that someone else is bothered that McG’s kevlar doesn’t fit him right. I mean, like, he could get shot in his perfect abs!
    One of my favorite scenes is hoops in the prison yard. D.L “How long you been married” Hughley make me crack up every time. Maybe he can come back on the Show to earn some $$ b/c he’s got tax problems in RL.

    Posted by Andr3a (Hawaii 5-0 FUCUP Blogazine) | April 28, 2012, 8:25 am
  5. I have a confession. I read “I really like the plants in this screencap. The PLANTS.” as “I really like the penis in this screencap. The PLANTS.” I think it’s because you were talking about the cargoes right before the pic. 🙂

    I never noticed before that they introduced Mary and Catherine together. I think both were meant to be in the Pilot, actually. I know there was a deleted scene with Mary at the funeral. And on the DVD the showed part of the script where it said:

    CATHERINE: Gimme a few hours. (then, soft concern) Steve … I know what you’re doing… please be careful.

    The moment lingers — then he hangs up. Leaves —

    This is some time before he first goes to his dad’s house, but I don’t quiet know what it’s about.

    Posted by rainycali | April 28, 2012, 10:37 am
    • Hi rainycali: I love your alternate definition of PLANTS! If you haven’t already done so, Steph, LaHagela, myself and others have a H5-0 Blogazine dedicated to the contents of McG’s cargopants! Well, we sometimes cover other topics…. http://h50fucupblogazine.wordpress.com/

      Posted by Andr3a (Hawaii 5-0 FUCUP Blogazine) | April 28, 2012, 11:48 am
    • That is so interesting about Catherine being in the Pilot script! Wow, with her & Mary in the Pilot it would have been soooo busy! I’m really glad they allowed us to be “just the team” for a few eps before introducing the both of them.

      Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 28, 2012, 5:34 pm
      • The pilot was so great. I think the decision to leave Catherine out was a good one. 🙂

        Posted by Infant_Sardonic | April 28, 2012, 6:56 pm
      • I think they could have worked in either Catherine or Mary Ann in the pilot without taking away from the storyline. I actually really hate that they took the scene at the graveyard out between Mary Ann & Steve. To me, it made it seem like Steve was more emotionally stoic than he had to be. That he only had the capacity to have feelings for his ‘team’. A mindset which would have been more instilled in him by the Navy than by loving human beings a la his family and/or friends. It was originally one of the problems I had with McG. Not the way Alex portrayed McG, but the way they wrote him…and I think it still lingers in the minds of Alex’s detractors, to be quite honest. It was 4 whole episodes before they let him really have any feelings for anything other than his ‘job’ except for that one brief moment in epi 2 when he was listening to his Dad’s recording.

        That is interesting about that scene written for Cath. I didn’t know or care anything specifically about any one character yet at this point in the season so when Cath showed up, I thought, oh cool…McG actually does have a human being to connect with (Danny had Grace afterall). McG had a girlfriend and they had a fun, playful banter. Good to know! I honestly still scratch my head at people thinking Booty Call. I just never felt that at all. I didn’t realize it at the time but as you stated Steph, it can’t be a mistake that they brought her in to domesticate him at the same time they introduced his sister. Gives even less credence to the BootyCall B.S. IMO.

        Posted by ESS @H50BAMF | April 28, 2012, 8:14 pm
        • My guess would be people reacted poorly to Mary being high at the funeral… They wanted to keep her character sympathetic & likable & that probably would have ruined her for some people beyond the point of redemption – or maybe they thought it was too edgy for a family show. 😦

          Posted by stephaniejane2 (The Junk Kicker) | April 28, 2012, 9:40 pm
          • And maybe they realised it was a complete cliche to have Steve be the best the Navy has ever seen and have Mary be a complete f/ck up.

            Posted by Infant_Sardonic | April 28, 2012, 9:42 pm
          • I hear what you’re saying and I don’t disagree. But I don’t think simply not coming to her dad’s funeral was an option that would make her more sympathetic/likeable to the audience.

            Posted by ESS @H50BAMF | April 28, 2012, 9:50 pm
            • Mary, she’s probably even more screwed then Steve. She would have been ten (@Plenkov said Mary is 5 years younger then Steve) when their mother died and when they were both sent away. She probably didn’t even really remember what it was like to have a father. I know I can’t remember much from when I was ten or younger. She probably felt no attachment to him. It is easier for me to sympathise with her missing the funeral then going to it and turning up high.

              Posted by Infant_Sardonic | April 28, 2012, 9:54 pm
        • That’s really interesting, what you said about it being a few episodes in before they let him show any emotion – this is right around the time I transferred my affections away from Danny and hopped on to the FOY train to Happyville. That CAN’T be a coincidence. Steve just didn’t do it for me until he started showing some FEELINGS, no matter how devilishly devastatingly handsome he was.

          Hey – this means I’m not shallow! Well, not completely shallow, anyway.

          Posted by Alicia | May 11, 2012, 12:28 am
          • It was the mad SEAL on the boat ep when I REALLY got hooked. I thought then that that was when Steve really started showing his emotions and caring side although when I look back I can see it before.

            Posted by Mary Jane | May 11, 2012, 4:49 am
  6. I’m with Spurschick in that I don’t mind a bit of gratuitous violence now and again especially if it’s to a great Stones track.
    There were some great lines in this ep like: ‘I thought you’d be a napalm in the morning kind of guy’. Also Kamekona ‘She confused me with a Jedi mind trick’
    I agree StephJ it was a bit of a mixed bag. Perhaps we have to give Show a bit of leeway as they had to rewrite some of it because of Scott’s genuinely damaged ACL. I’d like to know how much they had to change.
    I like Mary so it was good to see her introduced and to see more of Steve’s softer side.
    Does mayonnaise and lemon really make your hair turn ginger?

    Posted by Mary Jane | April 28, 2012, 1:05 pm
  7. My serious comments about epi are above. My non-serious but just as honest thoughts are that I love the screencaps where the eyes match the shirts for both Alex & Scott. Any time Alex’s eyes look green is a total WIN for me!! SQUEEEEE!!! That’s actually one of my fave screencaps ever! So sad it’s not more clear. 😦

    But speaking of other great screencaps that I wish were more clear… take it all off!

    Posted by ESS @H50BAMF | April 28, 2012, 8:18 pm
  8. I want to comment first before I read anybody else’s comments…so sorry if I repeat anything anybody has already said.
    In retrospect this was a episode of “plotline corrections” for me, maybe that is why we are get the feeling it was not that good – it was patched together and they also made a lot of mistakes (the timeline of Mary Ann and Steve’s past?!)
    They obviously had to write Scott’s real life injury and operation into the script as well …maybe that is why there are some plotholes of when and where and how, who was riding with who and who was how long where?

    Same with Mary Ann, who was originally supposed to be introduced in the pilot….so they had to re-write her character in, in another way…this episode might have already been written and they had to add her on and fit her into the plot (Maybe the original story was saying something more about victory?).
    I have said it many times in the past, they really screwd up Mary’s character. They could have used her so well as a semi-regular to create another strong female in the story (something they tried to correct with the introduction of Lori – maybe they made a casting mistake that back-fired in both these cases/characters!!)
    About the “extreme violence” ….Think they needed to give McG an excuse to just shoot this guy without questions asked in the end and without thinking twice about it. (Dawkins was a cold blooded killer that was killed by McG, a protector of others)

    I think this was also the first time we where introduced to McG’s wheels?…just saying:)

    Posted by FOYeur | May 3, 2012, 12:49 pm
  9. Another FABULOUS review, Steph – the time and effort that you put into these pieces really shows through, and you write so well that they’re so much fun to read.


    Posted by Alicia | May 11, 2012, 10:07 am


  1. Pingback: FOYride « Hawaii 5-0 FUCUP Blogazine - August 30, 2012

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