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Thread: Running a Paradise 50 years later

  1. #1
    Tonight (what's left of it) 50 years ago, CBS aired S04E13 "Is This Any Way To Run A Paradise".

    Five-O has its hands full with a 'prank' of a smokestack being plugged and at the start, no suspects. There is a note and a homemade idol left at the scene to give clues about the ecological statement. However, things escalate when a load of garbage is dumped in front of the Capitol building. After a lot of hot air being blown about by various characters, McGarrett and team zero in on a football coach named Nolo (Nephi Hanneman) who had access to the specific typewriter used to type the note. Things don't end well for him when he's baited to chase after a state Senator (Fred Titcomb) who goes on TV to say this rogue agent is not helping the ecological bill before the Hawaii Legislature. Five-O chases the guy into a cane field where he sets it on fire and eventually burns to death. It's one of the eerier endings in the series.

    Mr. Mike does a great job with his write-up of the episode:

    Again, this is a meh episode for me but that doesn't mean there aren't some cool moments in the show. Nolo, as the ecological rogue, is a complex character. He kills a guy with his bare hands, after swimming four miles (!), by breaking his neck. The dead guy is Lai Han (Richard Morrison) who many blame for the increase in pollution in Hawaii due to his real estate developments. At the same time, Nolo isn't always cold-blooded. After shooting down a crop-duster, Nolo drags the pilot from the plane at great risk to himself.

    There is a hilarious scene in McGarrett's office where a coo-coo (Don Lev) shows up and mistakes Danno for McGarrett. Uh, dude, don't you read the newspaper!? Oh wait, probably not.

    Considering this aired in 1971, this was a forward-looking episode. I don't think anyone was really talking about ecology then and certainly not like they are now. Even if this isn't one of their best episodes, this is proof of what made Five-O so cool and relevant for not only its time, but for all time.

    Happy 50th, "Is This Any Way To Run A Paradise"!!!

  2. #2
    I think Is This Any Way To Run A Paradise? is a solid episode in the Classic HFO catalog. It's a good watch as the environmental crusader, Aku, escalates his pranks and things to criminality. Aku, a coach and shop teacher, is behind the letters and pranks. He escalates the violence shooting down a crop duster later saving the pilot and breaking the neck of Lai Han. It's an amazing scene watching Aku swim the strong tides and then quietly sneak into Han's house. He then breaks Han's neck. The title of the show is effectively used in the episode when HFO investigate who could be the identity of Kaili--The God Of Battle. Time runs out on Aku when HFO match an old typewriter from the school with the letters Aku had recently mailed out. Aku cannot complete his next mission to kill the Senator and refuses to comply when hiding in the Sugar cane. The cane is burned and Aku decides to go up with the burning cane. I would give this episode maybe 3 stars on a 4 Star scale. I think there is some understanding of Aku's actions in the beginning but then he crosses the line . JC

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