“A’ohe Pau ka ‘ike i ka Halau Ho’okahi” is about the power of technology. Its assets, its uses, its consequences – and its limits. The primary case in this episode has to do with autonomous vehicles, and it brings up the topic of just how technology has changed human interaction as we know it.
I liked that the personal lives of the characters were kept primarily at bay. Every once in a while their personal lives lead into ridiculous storylines that just seem to waste time and that go nowhere – meaning something happens in one episode, and by the next, it’s forgotten. That’s just not real life, and by extension, it makes the characters far less relatable, something that is key in every show. If you don’t like or can’t relate to a character on some level, the show is essentially sunk.
That isn’t to say that the characters themselves were ignored completely. Danno was nowhere to be seen in the previous episode, but he was back this week sharing more moments of his and Steve’s famous “carguments” on-screen. Arguing about their differing approaches to police work, and life, was entertaining. Apparently Steve envisions the worst, as Danny has labeled him a “catastrophist.” Danny typically has a dark outlook on things, but compared to Steve at times, he looks like the most positive person ever – or at least, the most positive person in the Camaro.
I was invested in the case Steve and Danny were working. It demonstrates how far technology has come and how it has changed the way people live their lives. Self-driving cars are talked about a lot, but if anything, “A’ohe Pau ka ‘ike i ka Halau Ho’okahi” exemplifies why autonomous cars should not be on the road.
Technically the cars in this episode were being controlled remotely, so in part some of the disaster accrued because said cars were compromised due to human error and negligence. Still, it doesn’t score any points for autonomous vehicles. At least with a driver, there’s a chance for humans to correct their errors and prevent tragedy. Plus, most humans wouldn’t blaze through an intersection and kill pedestrians on a whim.
The tech-savvy drug dealers in this episode have obviously uncovered an innovative way to do business. Perhaps it reduces the chances of their employees being caught and therefore ratting out their co-workers and bosses. However, having an array of autonomous cars seems pretty pricey, especially when they’re conducting business in Hawaii, one of the most expensive places in the world to live and work.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how much money the dealers must have lost when they sent one of their cars over a cliff to avoid being caught by Steve and Danny, who were in pursuit. The car itself in addition to all the equipment inside? That’s got to be a severe financial loss. I didn’t particularly feel sorry for them – they are drug dealers – but I couldn’t imagine just destroying something instantaneously like that, especially when they’d obviously invested so much into it.
Meanwhile, Tani and Quinn have been tasked with a different case that is made complicated by the presence of two YouTubers, Scooter and Skeez. These YouTubers are portrayed as stereotypical millennials, completely and wholly. They have their own language, they’re obsessed with social media, and they like to vape.
The thing about the millennial aspect is that it’s too stereotypical. I believe it was meant to humor a specific target audience – adults likely over the age of 35 who like to make fun of millennials. That’s fine, but it went a bit too far. It’s clear that the show was trying to humor that audience with the presence of Scooter and Skeez by making them look like stupid kids with no morals, boundaries or acknowledgment of societal niceties.
Scooter and Skeez have their moments where they definitely fit the bill as unaware millennials, but they do work hard, albeit in a different capacity than the Five-0 team. They work hard to keep their followers, maintain content, and build fresh content to keep themselves at the top-of-the-line on social media.
Not to mention they have their moments of brilliance. For instance, they were the ones to figure out how a killer at an apartment complex evaded cameras with an extension ladder. It was hilarious that Quinn busted them-they had told a completely different story as to why they were on the roof to begin with-but they still earned credit from an impressed Quinn. Enough credit for Quinn to allow Scooter to hug her, albeit awkwardly and reluctantly.
Plus, Scooter wrote in his notes “dude could be guilty” and said dude turned out to be the guilty one, as he was embezzling and the murdered old lady was the one to catch it. Scooter may be off on a few things, but he does possess stellar instincts on reading people.
They may not be future cops, but Scooter and Skeez did a good job with the HPD Recruitment video. That is, they totally spoofed their experience of riding along with Tani and Quinn by incorporating the two into the video, much to the remainder of the Five-0 team’s delight. Life isn’t always fair, but at least Quinn and Tani got a shout-out from famous YouTubers after a hard day’s work.
Quinn may not be able to master millennial talk, and she and Tani certainly had their patience tested, but the two came out in one piece. Even more notably, so did Scooter and Skeez. The latter survived punishment by having to sit with the Gladys Kravitz (aka nosy neighbor) of the apartment complex when they broke the rules.
There wasn’t much sympathy for the Devil-said Devil being the murder victim of the apartment complex, an older woman that had complaints about everyone and everything, driving her neighbors berserk. It’s another stereotype the show seemed to fulfill this episode – the cranky old lady that gets on everyone’s nerves. Harsh.
Last but not least, “A’ohe Pau ka ‘ike i ka Halau Ho’okahi” had a few badass moments that are worth mentioning. Julia hacked into her own program to save her father, using the self-driving cars against the drug dealers until Five-0 arrived at the scene. That was just too cool.
Additionally, Kanoa, a drug addict Five-0 had tracking one of the cars, had quite an exciting day. Obviously he was high and desperate. When Five-0 initially chases him down, he’s hit by a car and falls through a fence. Yet for both incidents, he gets up and keeps running. It takes an old lady whacking the back of his head with a pan to knock out Kanoa entirely. All that effort to be taken down by an old lady? Classic. Besides, no way would anyone be able to get up and keep going after all that abuse on their body, unless they were very durable, high, or desperate – or perhaps all three combined.
Steve and Danny had an interesting conversation about modernity while staking out the autonomous car. There truly are apps for everything, and it comes at the expense of human interaction. Danny seems fine with it, exhibiting an antisocial element to his character. Danny’s always been somewhat antisocial – he has his group of friends, his comfortable routine, and that’s it. He doesn’t want to deal with anything or anyone else.
Steve is the opposite side of the coin, wanting to go back to the roots of civilization that required people to actually leave their homes to get things done, like buying groceries or clothes. I had to side with Steve on this one. While technology has certainly made things easier in many forms, it’s also made things harder when what humanity needs most is interaction with one another.
Granted, human interaction isn’t always a pleasant experience. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth the venture outside your four walls. Sometimes you meet new friends or run into old ones. Sometimes you receive compliments or even make someone’s day just by saying hello. You never know what can happen. Bottom line: human interaction is a necessary and integral thing in life, and I thought Steve’s point was more than accurate when it came to this topic.
Besides, their conversation about the way things used to be in comparison to now spawned a “Knight Rider” reference – namely, calling one of the self-driving cars “KITT.” I had to appreciate the throwback to the 1980s.
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“A’ohe Pau ka ‘ike i ka Halau Ho’okahi” had interesting things to say when it came to the uses of technology in this week’s episode. Technology is a powerful tool, but even the best things have their flaws. The episode also drew too much humor from stereotypical characters - some moments just weren’t that funny.
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