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Thread: Lion in The Streets: Good, But ...

  1. #1
    I like this episode, but in needs to be said: the actor that plays Andy is a bit too ... fey to play a big, brooding union guy convincingly. And, once you notice - and it is easy - it takes you right out of the story!

    Here's another odd thing I just noticed: when McGarrett gets to Andy's house after he and the hot Barbara Luna's son disappears, a cop outside the door SALUTES him! Does that make sense? A police officer saluting Steve?

  2. #2
    I don't have issues with the casting but certainly there are parts of the episode that could have been executed better.

    As far as the salute, it's happened in prior seasons. I'm not sure exactly when it started, I think I remember seeing it as early as Season 4. I think it's because he's the highest ranking police officer in Hawaii (i.e. State police outrank the city police). Not sure how this works in the real world honestly (that's another thread because what I have to go from is two different states and they're as different as night and day) but I know for a fact Hawaii is the only state without State Police!

  3. #3
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    I am re-viewing The Moroville Covenant (ugh), the second-to-last show, and there is something in this show that puzzled me. It starts out with McGarrett talking to lawyer David Lawrence (Paul Burke), asking him if he can address the upcoming police graduation luncheon. I thought, huh?, why does McGarrett have the responsibility for doing this? Wouldn't this be the responsibility of the HPD chief?

  4. #4
    This was what I posted on Mike's forum in May 2017, regarding "A Lion in The Streets":


    I was surprised to see Mike gave it 4 stars. I don't believe it deserved anywhere near that. Not a bad episode, but flawed in several ways.

    Alika was indeed a great villain, but his henchmen were astoundingly inept. How could a powerful mob boss (who was even able to run his operation from jail) be surrounded by such terrible "help"? His main bodyguard Billy Swan was especially pathetic, and tended to go down for the count after just one punch. Even Alika was exasperated by him after Kimo Carew knocked Swan out on the beach, yet Alika continued to trust him as his main bodyguard!

    The end scene where Andy Komoku beat up all three bodyguards was comical and unrealistic. Alika's two goons were following him and told Alika that they planned to "waste him as soon as he comes out of the house", making it obvious they must have guns. Yet when they followed him to Alika's house, they chased him down and took him on with no weapons?

    We did not get any kind of resolution regarding Johnny Mio, and in fact we didn't see him at all in most of the second half of the episode. There was a quick mention by Kimo that he "didn't know anything" regarding the third man responsible for murdering his family, but that was it. We also heard that the union election was delayed for 6 months. But what of Mio? Where did he go? What happened to Kimo's offer to become an eyewitness that Alika and Mio were connected? I found the lack of closure here to be unsatisfying.

    In fact, the whole episode lacked closure. Alika wasn't arrested. The union election was simply delayed, but we never find out if it ended up with a positive result. None of the main bad guys were ever arrested (aside from Wo Fat episodes, has that ever happened?) In fact, aside from those two henchmen brought in by Komoku as part of a "citizen's arrest", no one was arrested at all.

    Paul L. Smith (who passed away in 2012, at age 75) did a good job playing Komoku, but he was miscast, as the role called for a Hawaiian. Smith did not look Hawaiian, and you would think they would have chosen a more Hawaiian-looking actor to play a role of a direct descendant of Kamehameha (and that being a big plot point!)

    The whole "kapu" curse on McGarrett was a little ridiculous, especially to the point where Duke, Truck, and other Five-O staff refused to talk to him. In general, McGarrett came off weak and befuddled throughout the entire episode, at one point remarking that he never had such difficulty in all of his professional career. That was odd to hear, as this case was rather easy to deal with compared to some of the others McGarrett dealt with, kapu or not!

    William Smith's acting was uneven throughout this episode, especially the dramatic scenes.

    This episode served as an introduction to two new characters to the Five-O team -- Truck and Kimo. With Danny's departure, Five-O was down to just McGarrett and Duke, coming into Season 12.

    Despite Smith's questionable acting, the two new characters were likable. Still, it felt like a whole new show was being invented. Five-O without Danno and Chin just didn't feel like Five-O.

    I'll be honest. I loved the premise of "A Lion in the Streets". It had a lot of potential.

    The Andy Komoku character was particularly interesting, being a flawed good guy who was overly macho and temperamental, but at the same time meant well.

    The secondary story of Kimo being in Hawaii to find the murderer of his wife and kid was also interesting.

    It just wasn't executed well. They had almost 100 minutes of screen time to get it done (about the length of a feature film), yet the episode dragged in the second half and never provided us with much resolution or closure. The Mio character faded into the background. Andy just kept doing the same vigilante act over and over, while his wife begged him to stop. The union election became secondary.

    I was also waiting for Andy to kick ass -- perhaps baiting those thugs from the beginning to attack him, and him beating them down. Didn't happen. All Andy did was wreck property associated with Alika, until finally at the end he had that laughable fight with the inept henchmen at Alika's beach house.

    Kimo's story was interesting, yet went nowhere. All we got at the end was a lame quip about how Mio "didn't know anything" about his family's killer. Presumably this was left as an ongoing story for Season 12, but it wasn't really utilized.

    Also, that judge was also horrible, and they never explained it. Why was he so sympathetic to Alika, given the horrific crimes he was accused of? Even McGarrett looked shocked at every one of the judge's rulings.

    Was the judge on Alika's payroll? That was never stated, but it probably should have been. This was yet another loose end which didn't make much sense.

    Why was McGarrett so confident that the second hearing would go so well, when the first was such a disaster?

    Overall, it wasn't a bad episode, because the story itself was compelling, and I liked a lot of the characters. It was just poorly written and directed.

    I think it deserved 2.5 stars.

  5. #5
    I just finished Lion ... uh, Lioness, In The Streets, and I pretty much agree with everything above!

    I wanted to know what happened to Milo, and the the curse thing was WORST. Even in '79, Duke refusing to work was blatant insubordination!

    And, yes, the Kimo into was odd - the actor seemed to act like Steve/Lord was not there sometimes ... how did Jack Lord go along with all these changes in the show?

    As a sidenote, the Hawaiian shirt score in this episode is okay, due to that one number that Andy sports for a long time in the second half.

  6. #6
    Thanks for starting this thread Ron - some interesting stuff.

    I get your angle on the kapu but I think it was a way to force McGarrett to be more creative in his crime-solving. Again, like many things in this episode, the execution could have been a lot better.

    I also agree with Todd: Five-O wasn't the same without Danny and Chin (the latter killed at the end of Season 10). I bring this up to answer your question: "how did Jack Lord go long with all these changes in the show?" For one, he made them as far as I know.

    From what I've read, he was pretty blind-sided by James MacArthur essentially saying, "Nope! Not coming back." This has to do with CBS not picking up the show for the 12th season as fast as they could have. After watching Season 11, I think he was pretty done being shuffled to the back. All of this goes back to Leonard Freeman's untimely death in 1974 when Jack Lord took the bull by the horns to keep the show going.

    I chalk it all to this thing called Life. None of these people are evil and I like to believe they made the best decisions they could based on their experiences and what was in front of them. We are left with a Season 12 that could have been better but in the end was horrid, mostly because there was no balance. I truly believe MacArthur was a stabilizing influence in the show even if that influence waned by Season 11. Being completely gone in Season 12, chaos ran amok. In a way, I'm glad he wasn't there because I truly believe he would have been put on the same level as the other cast members: Danny would have been made as inept like Kimo and Lori was. That would have been the worst - I would be heartbroken. Granted, Danny had his dorky moments too in the series but nothing like the craziness Kimo and Lori did.

    I just hope I made sense!

  7. #7
    Makes sense ... I never knew there was a delay in the 12th season getting the green light. I have to wonder what was going through Lord's mind at the time; was it business as usual for him? Was HE over it? I mean, by that point, 5-O was a landmark show, and known for it .... to make it more cartoony was just not something I could see him going along with.

    I have never known what CBS thought of the show by season 12, in terms of keeping it going - did the overhaul the show received in its last season a way of relaunching it for the '80s?

    And, yes - NO WAY could I see Danno as part of any of the season 12 toomfoolery!

  8. #8
    That's a good question Ron - was Jack Lord over the show? I don't think so and I say that based on some things in Season 12. He's the one swooping in to save the day on more than one occasion. However, I think toward the end reality was setting in and there was no way to keep it going.

    Karen Rhodes published a book called "Booking Hawaii Five-O" and it's awesome! One thing she wrote was from a July 1980 interview with Jack Lord where he said, "We'd exhausted all the possibilities. We proved what we set out to do." Based on that, he knew it was done.

    Even as horrible as Season 12 is there are nuggets of information to be pulled out about the characters. One example is Duke who completed two college degrees. Truck's cousin Joey who we meet in "Good Help is Hard to Find" (this is also the episode with the hint of why Danno split and somewhat of a closure with Kimo finding the man who killed his wife and daughter but again, that part could have been executed better). Another example is discovering quite a bit about Lori in "Who Says Cops Don't Cry".

    "For Old Times Sake" and "The Flight of the Jewels" are worth watching in my opinion, we see flashes of the old McGarrett in both. On one hand, he wants to help the forger (I can't remember his name) because the guy went on the straight and narrow and when he did go back into crime, it was to assist a girl's home. The other end of the spectrum, he gets every way bent out of shape against the geniuses who pulled off a jewelry robbery with model airplanes saying, "What a waste".

    Other than these episodes, I can pretty much do without Season 12. I also know Mr. Mike has been working hard on revamping his reviews and they're so well done, I don't have to re-watch the other episodes again! I will be eternally grateful.

  9. #9
    Wow ... very cool stuff there.

    I have been debating on whether or not to buy Karen's book, and I think I will!

    I am also going to stay on season 12 for a while, and watch those episodes you mentioned.

  10. #10
    Karen's book is worthwhile. I've dug into it a number of times. She has an episode by episode review plus a lot of other stuff.

    Good luck on your Season 12 watching.

  11. #11
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    When the 12th season DVDs came out, this was one episode which I did not rewatch at all. Maybe I should have! Now I have rewatched it… I definitely wouldn't consider it to be "the last episode of any quality" or whatever I said way back when (like in the 90's).

    I don't think Billy Swan was ever supposed to be Alika's "bodyguard." He was more like a butler, the guy who answers the door and brings Alika food and drinks. As to why he was accompanying Alika on his run down the beach, I think Alika was just lonely and wanted someone to be with him. Billy Swan wasn't supposed to be his protector. He certainly wasn't a beefy guy like William Smith who could have been a bodyguard.

    Alika seems kind of like an inept mob boss, as has been suggested above. There is no way that Kamoku should have been able to get to Alika at his house by punching out all these guys, some of whom were armed.

    As far as Johnny Mio is concerned, there is a suggestion near the end that Alika now considers the guy to be kind of a pain in the ass: "Mio was the one who set him [Kamoku] up, that means he'll go after Mio first … We could be missing a bet here. This, uh, union thing isn't going the way I planned anyway. It could tie up all the loose ends and, uh, let the union take the heat. You make it look like Mio put up one hell of a fight then just like that, we rid of two problems at the same time, huh?"

    Considering that Mio was running for the union position before Alika was released from jail pending a new trial, did Alika have contact with Mio before this?

  12. #12
    I don't know how they managed a 2-hour episode about a corrupt union election without giving us the results of the election.

    This episode was honestly one of the worst offenders regarding lacking closure and loose ends.

    It really had a lot of potential, but was just a complete mess.

    Regarding Billy Swan, I took him to be Alika's main protection, even if he did other stuff for Alika. That's why he was with him constantly. At least that's how I interpreted it. Either way, it was laughable how Alika was never protected, despite not being physically imposing himself, and despite his supposed powerful status as a mob boss.

  13. #13
    Never cared for this episode and never understood the high marks for it. Just another subpar season 12 episode. Tony Alika, as always, was the best thing about it. Ross Martin was a great actor and was very good with accents. His pidgin Hawaiian is quite convincing! But everything else, Andy Kamoku and his storyline, the Union, the kapu placed on McG, the introduction of the new characters and lousy acting by William Smith, I just didn’t care for at all.

    I felt the same way about season 11’s “Number One With a Bullet” (where again Ross Martin, and Nehemiah Persoff were the best things about it) - just another lackluster episode. Though granted I do like the plentiful uses of the disco music by The Bee Gees. Actually the best Alika episode is “Stringer” - good storyline there with a good main guest star in Paul Williams as the title character and Alika is particularly ruthless and intimidating in that one. Good score by Dick DeBenedictis too, who scored the excellent “Skyline Killer”.

    It’s a shame that Alika didn’t get to appear in better episodes.

  14. #14
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    I agree that Number One is not that great, definitely not as great as the last time I reviewed it which was probably around 9 years ago when the DVDs came out and 20 years ago before that. Probably worth about 3 stars, but there is too much music in this show. I have found an old TV broadcast of this show that I have on VHS tape, I have to subject the episode to mega-anal-ysis sometime, but it won't be real soon. I want to determine if any of the music has been changed between the TV version and the DVD one. Agree with you on Stringer, that is a very good show.

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