HAWAII FIVE-0 2.17 ‘Kupale’ (‘Defender’)

\ When a battke reenactment ends in murder, 5-0 gets a lesson in Hawaiian history.

Hilary Rothingby Hilary Rothing

Episode Title: 'Kupale' ('Defender')

Writer: Noah Nelson & Lisa Schultz

Director: Steve Boyum


When a woman on a corporate retreat encounters a dying man dressed like a native island warrior, 5-0 is called in to investigate. Max (Masi Oka) pulls a shark tooth out of the body suggesting the man was killed with a paddle-like weapon used by natives.

The team soon arrives at the site of a battle reenactment. At the scene, McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) recognizes friend of 5-0. Mamo Kahike (Al Harrington). Mamo identifies the victim as Brandon Koruba, partner in a ship building business and a collector of native Hawaiian warrior artifacts. Mamo tells 5-0 that Koruba was supposed to be at the reenactment but never showed up.

In the jungle, Kono (Grace Park) finds a blood stained bone fragment attached to hair. Danny (Scott Caan) and McGarrett take the fragment to Dr. Asano (Autumn Reaser) while Kono talks to Koruba's wife. Asano identifies the fragment, part of a valuable artifact, as well as a known private collector on the island who happens to be the victim.

5-0 learns that one of the reenactment participants, Seth Burgess has a record for stealing expensive antiques and artifacts.  At Burgess' house, McGarrett and Danny find SWAT already on the scene, with Burgess hiding out inside.  However, McGarrett uses tear gas to flush Burgess out.

McGarrett and Danny interrogate Burgess (Apolo Ohno), who maintains his innocence. He tells 5-0 that Koruba was already dead when he happened upon his body. After spotting the artifact, Burgess decided to take it and sell it.

When blood from Burgess' weapon exonerates him, McGarrett and Danny focus on Koruba's business partner, Tony Dennison (Patrick Fabian) who he was on the phone with him right before the murder. At the dock, 5-0 notices some graffiti on one of Dennison's boats. He explains that the company has been targeted by a radical environmental outfit known as Urthstrike. Koruba, in particular, had received a video taped threat from Urthstrike's leader.

Using the video footage, 5-0 is able to identify Urthstrike's leader as Kevin Creed and tracks him down at the organization's headquarters. When he gives chase on a motorcycle, McGarrett and Danny catch up with him at dock and take him into custody. Back in the interrogation room, Creed (Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau) denies killing Koruba and his alibi also checks out.

According to Creed's lawyer, Koruba abandoned the inter-island ferry project that Urthstrike was against. 5-0 learns that Koruba let his work permits lapse. When Kono sees Koruba's wife outside HQ, she asks her about the project but she knows nothing about it.

The team begins to suspect Koruba's partner had something to do with the murder after learning the permits were reinstated right after his death. They learn that Koruba's wife placed a call to Dennison and begin to suspect the two are working together.

The team tracks Dennison to Koruba's house. Inside, Koruba's wife holds him at gunpoint and accuses him of killing her husband for money. 5-0 tells the woman to drop the gun and Dennison makes his move, now holding her at gunpoint. McGarrett puts a bullet in Dennison's shoulder and he's taken into custody.

Later that night, Danny gets the gang together for drinks while Gabby gets to spend some quality time with his daughter, Grace outside on the beach.


"Kupale," which means "defender" had all the elements that have made "Hawaii Five-0" a hit, and then some. The case of the week offered an interesting cultural aside into Hawaii's NaKoa warriors and there was a cameo from local celebrity and Phillies outfielder, Shane "The Flyin' Hawaiian" Victorino. And the requisite beauty shots of the island's lush scenery are never less than breathtaking.

The twists and turns in the case of the murdered ship builder and Hawaiian history buff weren't exactly head spinning but that's not where "H5O's" entertainment value is found.

Nor is it found in another one of "H50's" in-episode advertisements. For what it's worth, I have a hard time believing Kono's Galaxy tablet loaded with Windows Messenger would work at such lightening speeds when the chick lost in the jungle at the top of the episode couldn't get a signal on her cellphone. Just sayin.'

Nope, the fun in this episode was with Dr. Bergman explaining the plausibility of time travel to the team in the middle of the jungle. McGarrett flushing Apolo Ohno out by dropping a tear gas canister through a skylight was also pretty sweet. And speaking of the Olympic speed skater, his brief turn as a thieving history buff sporting a soul patch and a bad attitude showed some potential. Though I'm not sure about the petition on his Facebook page to bring back Seth Burgess as a love interest for McGarrett's sister.

And on that note, we got an update on Danny's courtship of the lovely Dr. Asano. Looks like these two are still going strong. I could do without the sappy scene at the end between the good doctor and Danny's kid, but I guess "Five-0" can't be all high speed chases and shootouts. But it would better if it was.

Crave Online Rating: 8.5 out of 10.