Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hawaii Five-0: Season 5, Episode 16 Review (S05E16) -- Nānahu (Embers)

(S05E16) Nānahu (Embers)
RATING: 3 stars

Original air date: 02/20/15

This episode, well directed by Joe Dante, could be called "The Tale of Two Psychos."

The first of these was Frank Simpson (David Hoflin), the husband of Amber, Danno's girl friend. Turns out that Amber's real name was Melissa Armstrong and she had married Simpson who abused her so badly she had fled as far away from New York where they lived as possible, i.e., Hawaii.

Danno and Amber (Lili Simmons), making her third appearance on the show, were re-establishing their relationship and spending some time together at an isolated location near Waimanalo. Somehow Simpson managed to track them down, which was odd, because even Five-0 had no idea where Danno was.

Simpson first visited Kamekona's shrimp shack where he inquired about Amber with a photo. This set off alarm bells with the big guy who fortunately snapped a picture of Simpson's car and sent it to McGarrett. Then Simpson made inquiries at Amber's company, though it is equally unlikely that the boss there knew where she was.

Eventually Simpson ended up at the romantic retreat where he knocked out Danno and threatened his ex-wife in a very nasty manner. After Danno punched the shit out of Simpson, getting stabbed in the process, he and Amber were leaving on their way to the hospital when Simpson suddenly appeared out of nowhere and made further threats. Amber drove right into her ex, with the result he flew up on to the roof of the car and then back down in front of it via the hood (a great stunt). Amber then drove over him like she would a speed bump, a move that I suspect will return to bite her in the ass eventually, even though she and Danno were seemingly the only witnesses. (Don't forget the "old lady" of season one who fingered Kono!)

The second psycho on the show was Jason Duclair, played by former UFC fighter Randy Couture. Duclair was a serial arsonist who had terrorized people in California, then relocated to Hawaii. Posing as an exterminator, he cased people's houses, then returned to burn the places down with the people trapped inside.

Duclair was pursued by ATF agent Kathy Milwood (Melina Kanakaredes) from Orange County, who had followed his early career of two dozen fires. She nearly lost her life when Duclair torched her house, killing her husband, after she taunted him during a TV press conference where she called him a "weak, frightened coward" who was sexually dysfunctional.

Duclair was extremely nasty, grabbing and knocking out Milwood as she followed him into the Lava Gardens Hotel where he was going to climax his career with a big-time blaze. He doused her with White Spark camp fuel and was just about to incinerate her when McGarrett broke into the room via the next room and the balcony between them.

Kanakaredes' acting was exceptionally good -- too bad she cannot stick around to join the team! As she was leaving at the end of the episode, McGarrett told her "Don't look back, you can't change the past," again pretty funny, considering what a mess his own life is. The acting of the two villains was also very good.

There was a stupid sub-plot about McGarrett and Grover playing golf which took up about six minutes of the show's time. It featured U.S. Women's Open golf champion Michelle Wie giving advice to McGarrett and acting as his caddy as he participated in a charity tournament for the HPD Widows and Orphans Fund. The less said about this, the better. No doubt the gorgeously photographed shots of golf course scenery were designed to ensure that the show continues to qualify for Hawaii state production tax credits .


  • When Chin is talking to McGarrett about trying to locate Danno, having figured out that Amber's husband is after her, he says "I'll reach out to friends and [or "at"?] work and see if anyone knows anything [i.e., where Danno and Amber are]." Shortly after, Duke tells Chin "My boys spoke to one of Amber's co-workers; he said that their boss might know where Amber and Danny are. He also said that an old friend of hers came by the office this morning, asking the same question. We're trying to track down the boss. As soon as that information comes in, I'll get it to you." But it is never specifically said that the boss told the husband where Amber was. No matter how the husband identified himself, either as her husband or an "old friend," and the boss knew about Danno's relationship with Amber, because Danno had phoned him to get her off work (or some other reason), why would he?
  • Duclair's character was very reminiscent of the classic Five-O and Zero character Hookman the way he kept newspaper clippings of his crimes (but framed!) on his wall. At the end, Duclair fingers a book of matches he seemingly lifted from his prison guard, reminiscent of the "surprise" ending of Woe to Wo Fat, final episode of the original show.
  • Trying to find Duclair at the Lava Gardens Hotel (a bogus place), Five-0 goes to room 2104, which, according to the hotel, the killer checked into. But on the 18th floor we saw him get out of the elevator he shared with a family and go into a room directly opposite the elevator. (The room door does not close after he enters -- obviously so the camera can follow him in.) When Five-0 don't find anything in room 2104, they go out into the hall, and you see a room with number 2110. But as they are standing opposite the elevator where they see Milwood's blood on the elevator floor, behind them on the wall is another sign which indicates where rooms 1808 to 1834 are. There is no explanation as to how the Duclair either books the room on the 18th floor or gets the key card to open the door. It seems a stretch that Five-0 notices the blood in the elevator, considering there are three of them.
  • Five-0 figures out Duclair is at the Lava Gardens because he left his computer running at his house where Five-0 breaks in, trying to find him. There is an e-mail regarding the hotel reservation right on the computer screen which McGarrett sees! Talk about stupid writing. Why wouldn't Duclair turn the computer off, since he has left the house? There are also questions about how Duclair could board up the front door of houses he is torching to keep its occupants from escaping during the fire without them hearing him do this.
  • Duclair's exterminator license number is 45X2-ZY2Z-XY1. He works for the No Vacancy Pest Control.
  • It takes just over half an hour to drive from Waimanalo to the Tripler Army Medical Center.
  • Simpson's New York driver's license #B4259103K shows his address as 1813 Herkimer Street, Brooklyn 11209. (An actual street, though no such address.) He was born 08-08-81. The license expires 08-09-18. Amber's driver's license under her married name #B3486162M shows her birthdate as 06-09-84. It was issued 06-30-14 and expires 07-01-18. The issue date is odd, because Danno first met Amber in the episode broadcast on 01-10-14.
  • Milwood uses the expression "son of a bitch" twice.

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