By Wayne Harada
CBS’ homegrown “Hawaii Five-0” continues to glide; Monday’s (May 13) episode attracted 7.68 million viewers, with a 1.8 rating in in the key 18 to 49 demographics. This was a drop of a tenth, down from last week’s 1.9 rating.
The show is on a downward spiral, seemingly no longer able to bypass ABC’s “Castle,” which had 11.26 million viewers in the Nielsens, good for a 2.2 demo and No. 1 ranking. The third show, NBC’s “Revolution,” had fewer viewers at 5.72 million, but raked in a 1.9 rating in the demos.
But whoa: The show is displaying a late-in-the-season sass and style. If you ask me, the model is “Mission: Impossible.”
“Five-0” had a credible plot in the “He welo ‘ohana (Family Business)” show, revealing and compounding familiar character traits in Doris McGarrett (Christine Lahti) and Kono (Grace Park). The latter, who is Steve McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin), continues to provide headaches and worry for the commander of “Five-0,” and Kono also still is caught in the precarious relationship with Adam (Ian Anthony Dale), whose Yakuza ties intrude on their lives. Worse, Kono gets shot, though her bravura and reckless behavior brings tension to the plot; but you wonder when she’s going to get it, and get out of this messy situation.
This raises an issue: How long can a dead-end relationship last in a story arc? Even Mama McG’s recent beau (Treat Williams) is back, partnering in her quest to retrieve a precious microfiche in a high-security office. But in a “Mission: Impossible”-type feat, the attempt to secure a pass card, cutting off the TV circuitry in the facility, and rushing into the office on a potential government employee (Craig T. Nelson) whom Mama McG knows, is unabashedly cinematic and ambitious for a procedural. OK, silly, too.
But brownie points to the storytellers: the inclusion of ‘iwi matters, relating to the light rail in the works for Honolulu which continues to search for bones, is a slice of life; more of this kind of relatable elements, and this should could begin an upward struggle to regain viewers.
However, the matter of a Yakuza body dump, with beaucoup graves in a parcel of land that would eventually be where rail prevails, is a bit much — but it helps frame the story.
That in-the-elevator-shaft sequence, with Mama McG and McG dodging a rising car, is the stuff of films. Yes, “MI” minus Tom Cruise.
At best, the show projects a lot of effort and energy, for a change. The usual banter between McG and Danno (Scott Caan) is tolerable; the exchange between McG and Mama McG, including small-kid-time memories of magic, is sweet and proper, demonstrating a rich and warm past connecting to a tense and confused presence.
Add the helicopter drop, and retrieval, and you have more “MI” flavor.
Perhaps that’s the underlying message with this one: The mission is to improve and get back on track. And while it seems to be unlikely, it’s not impossible.