Saturday, February 4, 2017

Aloha to Hawaii Five O: Ka Pa'ani Nui (Big Game) - TV Review

I've previously written that Hawaii Five O has been hit or miss. Last night's episode, KA PA'ANI NUI (Big Game) was on target for capturing Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian history, and current world events:

When working a murder case involving the illegal practice of shark finning, Five-0 uncovers the possibility that a former Nazi war criminal may be hiding out in an old leprosy colony in Hawaii, on HAWAII FIVE-0, Friday, Feb. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

The episode begins with the murder of a shark hunter.  As the team considers the suspects, the producer includes a gorgeous underwater shot of a shark protector swimming in the crystal blue water.  

Yes, it is that blue.

When the team find a second body in Oahu waters, they realize they have a second (separate) murder.  The victim, a young woman from New York, was last seen volunteering on Kalaupapa - the infamous leper colony on an isolated peninsula of Moloka'i.  The victim tattooed her grandfather's Auschwitz number on her own arm, a clue that leads the team to realize she was tracking a prison guard who tortured her grandfather. 

The episode includes three secondary (and ongoing) story lines:
- Lou trying to outcook Chin Ho
- Kamekona's staff going on strike
- Eric's emotional growth after meeting a Kalaupapa patient scarred by the disease.

These are fluff pieces but add an extra dimension to the ohana (family) spirit of the TV series.

The dialogue referenced the difficulty of the general public to visit Kalaupapa - a visitor must be invited by a resident.  This is somewhat misleading as the general public can visit the Kalaupapa National Historical Park.  From its website (link),

When Hansen's disease (leprosy) was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, King Kamehameha V banished all afflicted to the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula on the north shore of Molokai.

Since 1866, more than 8000 people, mostly Hawaiians, have died at Kalaupapa. Once a prison, Kalaupapa is now refuge for the few remaining residents who are now cured, but were forced to live their lives in isolation.

Visitors must register with Damien Tours, which offers a 2 hour drive through the colony, trying to afford the remaining patients their privacy.  Visitors can arrive to the peninsula by:

- hiking down the cliffs
- riding a mule down the cliffs
- arriving by small aircraft from other islands.

When we lived in Pearl Harbor, I treated my mother in law to a tour of Kalaupapa - check out our pictures on my travel blog at this link

Hawaii Five O glossed over another aspect of Kalaupapa. From Pacific Historic Parks (link),

There are only two saints in the world that are from the same location, and Kalaupapa is the backdrop of the heroic stories of Hawaii’s two Catholic saints. 

Here you will learn how Father Damien De Veuster and Mother Marianne Cope sacrificed themselves and gave up everything when they both made their one-way trips to Kalaupapa. These selfless individuals provided comfort and medical assistance to thousands of Hawaii's people who suffered from this horrible disease.

The episode was packed with references to current events - the first crime spotlighted the need to protect our natural resources, even sharks.  The second crime comes one week after we recognized Holocaust Remembrance Day (link). When the murderer escaped Kalaupapa, Steve commented:

He won't stay missing for long. There’s a camera on every street corner...Social media. 24-hour news. There is no hiding anymore.

For me, the most compelling aspect of this episode is the reminder that all civilizations across time have "refugees" who become outcasts. While we honor Father Damien and Mother Marianne for their selfless service, I believe we can follow their example to make our communities stronger.

Watch KA PA'ANI NUI at this link.

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about:
- your favorite park, or
- your favorite Catholic Saint or historical figure known for his/her selfless service, or
- would you have hiked down the cliffs, rode the mules, or arrived by airplane into Kalaupapa.

My favorite park is the Waimea Canyon State Park on Kauai.

I admire William Wallace who fought for Scottish Freedom (I also admire Father Damien and Mother Marianne - they were canonized in Rome when I lived in Hawaii).

We arrived by air - not sure I would have the stamina to hike or mule down the steep path.

2. Comments are open through Sunday, February 12, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, February 13.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


  1. Don't have a favorite park, but would love to visit Yosemite National Park.

  2. I live in a town full of parks & we are literally surrounded by National Park.

  3. Mother Cabrini is my favorite saint.

  4. Don't have a favorite really. I love Saint Theresa. At my age now I'd say my hiking and muling days are behind me. :)
    Thanks for another informative post.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  5. Only been to Yosemite
    It was great

  6. My favorite park is Shenandoah. It is amazing. I belong to an organization that helps people. We are a group of female educators and have built schools in Africa and Haiti and bought bookmobiles for Native American children. I think plane for me as well but Iw ould have loved to try mules.

  7. I haven't met a park I haven't enjoyed - from our local Great Swamp Nat'l Wildlife Refuge, Jockey Hollow & Washington's Headquarters to the Shenandoah and then west to the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce & Yosemite and onward to Kiluea - wish I could visit all the parks!

  8. No particular favorite park but enjoy them. Today it would be arriving by plane but I would have tried the mules in my younger days.

  9. Visiting all the National parks is on my bucket list. I honestly couldn't pick a favorite...

  10. I love Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park. I visited Hawai'i Volcanoes Nat'l Park in '92.

    I love your little lessons on Hawai'i.


  11. Disney in Fla. No would not do the hiking or mule thing.

  12. I don't have a favorite park or saint. Only been to Disney and Mets baseball stadium.

  13. I like reading about the lives of the saints; what inspires and motivates them to (at times give up a life of wealth and luxury) serve others. There are so many wonderful examples throughout history.

    But what I believe is most important is that each of us is a "saint in the making." We just have to believe it ourselves and put it into action.