“O’Oe, a ‘Owau, Nalo Ia Mea” isn’t the season’s best episode thus far. It’s predictable, it failed to take initiatives where it should, and it seemed only one of the main Five-0 characters, Adam (Ian Anthony Dale), received any significant screen time. All of this combined, and it’s created an uneven episode.
“O’Oe, a ‘Owau, Nalo Ia Mea” starts off with a promising premise of action. Adam’s girlfriend is viciously kidnapped while they are in the shower together, like a modernized version of Psycho as their privacy is invaded in the worst way. Tamiko (Brittany Ishibashi) is dragged away while Adam is left to fight off one of the attackers, whom he later kills.
Killing his assailant was a bad move, considering Adam could’ve gotten vital information on where Tamiko had been taken and why. It’s the first of various mistakes, ranging in seriousness of consequences.
As if that weren’t enough, screen time then begins to sporadically switch from Adam’s storyline to the rest of Five-0’s as they handle a triple homicide, minus the presence of Danny. It’s jarring sometimes, the way the storylines shuffle back and forth, taking turns and not connecting in any sort of way. It takes time and focus away from both storylines, therefore making them feel rushed and cut off in places.
The triple homicide was an interesting case with great potential for exploration. The view of Tani, Lou and Junior at each crime scene on three separate screens at headquarters was a remarkable camera shot. It’s always a good thing in a police procedural when a case comes to the table that is different than the typical gang crime, robbery or murder based on revenge or lust.
A triple homicide case that goes as far back as a decade deserved more screen time. Especially considering the killer was a wealthy woman, and her story was practically glossed over. However, due to the necessity of covering the angst and seriousness of Adam’s storyline, it was solved in bits and pieces with random members collecting clues in nonlinear moments.
Dale’s performance as Adam was predictable, tumultuous and irregular. Each move he made was easily foreseeable. He was downright reckless, especially when he decides to kidnap a man connected to Tamiko’s kidnapping and staged it to look like a robbery. Adam is understandably desperate, which in turn causes clouded judgment on his part.
Adam was reacting in the heat of the moment, making life-altering decisions on the fly. Granted that his situation doesn’t allot for much time to weigh his options or consider consequences, but he was still beyond careless. Adam’s timing was off, his pacing too hectic to be considered realistic.
Despite the short screen time for the remainder of the Five-0 team, smaller storylines came up here and there. It’s like they were a last-minute detail, added for the purpose of providing the other characters something to work with for the week.
Steve’s cholesterol problem is an example. When Five-0’s leader discovers he has to change his diet, he understandably struggles with the concept. Quinn tortures him with a malasada while the two are riding together to a prison to interview someone. This was probably an attempt at humor but the performance was more obnoxious than funny. Steve’s aging has been a recurring joke this season, and it’s applicable given that our heroes have aged in the last decade. Yet, for it to be played out right, it required more time than was given in this episode.
The same thing goes for Lou’s storyline of his struggle with being an empty-nester. Again, it feels like the storyline was placed just for Lou to have to go through and by extension, involve Tani and Junior when they help him clear out his former home. Their performances had a familial feel between the three of them, though it was like Lou was playing dad and Tani and Junior his two kids, which is awkward in a sense. Yes, they are more than colleagues but even for their Five-0 “Ohana” (family), this was a strange dynamic.
Adam’s recklessness is going to cost him dearly. In fact, it already has, as the episode concluded with a cliffhanger. Duke, who handled Adam’s fake robbery, has discovered Adam’s prints at the scene, given that Adam’s watch was left behind in a struggle. Adam tried to be careful, but it simply wasn’t enough. It may even ruin his chances of proving that Tamiko’s father was set up for murder by his henchmen, given that Adam will be facing his own troubles.
Adam is a cop who went over the line. For Five-0, this isn’t uncommon, but it’s usually done for the right reasons. Adam had good intentions, but he should know better than to stage fake robberies, kill assailants when he could subdue them and extract information, and kidnap criminals. He may have gotten his girlfriend back but she loses her father. Even worse, he dies in her arms.
The performance between Tamiko and her father was extremely emotional and heartfelt. It’s gut-wrenching, as the audience witnesses the first moments of Tamiko’s grief as she holds her dead father in her arms, crying uncontrollably. Despite all Adam’s efforts, her rescue didn’t go as planned. Tamiko needs Adam more than ever, but her father’s loss could place a considerable strain on their relationship. That is, if Adam isn’t torn apart by Five-0 first.
Duke tells Steve about Adam’s presence at a crime scene. Steve looks less than pleased, as he should. One of Steve’s biggest pet peeves is lying. Adam broke Steve’s trust by doing this, and it could cost him his job, and even more importantly, his friendship with Steve. The moment Adam called in “sick” was the moment he should’ve just been honest with Steve.
The police were not supposed to be involved in Tamiko’s return, but Adam knows Five-0 can handle discretion. Not to mention they have resources that could have prevented the death of Tamiko’s father, and the consequences that now surround Adam.
When the criminal that Adam kidnapped is murdered by the hands of another to keep people out of jail, Adam is now bound to Tamiko’s father’s men in a bad way, given that they have dirt on him that could ruin Adam’s life. Adam is instantly overcome with guilt for his part in the whole thing, but what can he do now, apart from accepting the consequences of his actions?
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The best part of “O’Oe, a ‘Owau, Nalo Ia Mea” was the fact that with the arrest of the real killer, an innocent man was freed. Beyond that, the episode was rushed, the performances predictable or cut off, and the screen time for each storyline was uneven. Like a semester of Greek Mythology, too much content was packed into the time allotted.
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