INTO THE NEXT STAGE: The Many Loves of Chin Ho Kelly

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AOKI-GUY-color1By GUY AOKI

Poor Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) hasn’t had an easy time with women on “Hawaii Five-O.”

In the first season, we knew he was estranged from his ex-fiancee Dr. Malia Waincroft (Reiko Aylesworth of “24” fame). We were kept in the dark for months as to why, but it had something to do with Chin being investigated for being a dirty cop while with the Hawaii Police Department.

Then she made up with Chin, married him, and was barely seen until the producers needed some drama, and she was killed by the henchman of a crooked cop (Stephen Baldwin) in the Season 3 premiere in 2012.

In an earlier, contorted effort to manufacture some pathos, a Season 1 episode opened with two people telling Chin Ho that the governor’s liaison Laura Hills (Kelly Hu) had the hots for him. Which was news to anyone who’d watched the show because there had never been any hint of it. It was supposed to create some sadness when, within seconds of that revelation, she was blown up in her car by one of Wo Fat’s (Mark Dacascos) men.

Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) and Malia Waincroft (Keiko Aylesworth) get married.

Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) and Malia Waincroft (Keiko Aylesworth) get married.

To show you how little of this was thought out, even after her death, Chin Ho didn’t show much emotion, so why bother to “set up” the two in the first place?

Later in Season 3, he befriended Leilani (Lindsay Price), a nurse who worked at the prison he had to break out of after being placed there by thugs (again, don’t ask, how did they sneak a good guy into prison? Makes no sense). And we saw them going on dates a couple times, then there was no mention of why we weren’t seeing her again.

Still, I was intrigued by how Julie Benz — who was cast specifically to be Chin Ho’s love interest — would be used when she made her first appearance in mid-November as Abby Dunn, a San Francisco cop on loan to Five-O to study their methods. The relationship began growing as he rode around with her, enjoying each other’s company.

In a later episode when Chin opened the car door for Abby, she reacted with surprise, explaining that no man — besides her father — had ever done that for her. As I wrote previously (with eyeballs rolling), “Oh, c’mon!”

Chin Ho on a date with Leilani (Lindsay Price).

Chin Ho on a date with Leilani (Lindsay Price).

Then in January, an episode opened with Chin Ho waking up after apparently drinking too much, and finding Abby on the couch. In flashbacks, each explained how they’d gotten close that night. Chin claims he had walked her to her door and she insisted he come in. Abby disagreed, saying he was the one who’d made excuses to follow her into her apartment then started making out with her in the hallway.

In any case, as Abby made her way to the shower, she hinted he might want to join her (which lent more credence to Chin’s story!). But then both of their cells went off and they had to split for Five-O business.

In the Valentine’s Day episode, we saw Chin waiting in bed for Abby to join him. Instead, she appeared fully dressed, panicking, saying she’d made a big mistake and had to go. Abby ran out the door with him in half-naked pursuit.

Later, after avoiding his messages, she calls to apologize and promises she’ll treat him better next time, but she was back in San Francisco. The camera pulled back to reveal the mysterious one was still on Oahu.

Chin Ho with current flame Abby Dunn (Julie Benz).

Chin Ho with current flame Abby Dunn (Julie Benz).

Obviously, she was lying about something. Later when a “special agent” is interrogating Danny Williams (Scott Caan), we see who’s watching them through a one-way glass, and it’s Abby and her boss — a federal prosecutor who wants to dismantle the task force and reveals she’d been a plant to gather dirt on the team since Day One.

In the next episode, Abby meets her boss, reminds him she hasn’t found that Five-O broke any serious rules, and asserts he’s on a personal vendetta because his internal affairs investigator brother died while trying to destroy them. He tells her to do as she’s told or she’ll have to turn in her badge (On what grounds? Again, it makes no sense. She can always return to San Francisco as a regular cop or even join Five-O).

At the end of the episode, Abby tells Chin she’d been undercover all this time. We’ll see if there’s any fall-out from that confession beginning next month. Is it naïve to hope for a happy ending for our boy?

Continuing to Dig Their Own Graves Department: Notice the timing of events: On Wednesday, March 9, 25 prominent Asian Americans send a letter to Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and CEO Dawn Hudson, blasting them for Chris Rock’s anti-Asian kids skit and Ali G’s “tiny dongs” crack. They want to know how these jokes happened and what steps the Academy would take to ensure this kind of thing never happens again. No response.

Tuesday morning, March 15, the letter is leaked to the press. Only then, a couple of hours later, does the Academy respond, and then, with a weak, generic statement that it “regrets that any aspect of the Oscar telecast was offensive.” In other words, no admission of guilt, but “we regret that’s how you feel.”

The community’s even more outraged by this response, so later that afternoon, Hudson issues a fuller one apologizing for what happened (but not explaining how it got on the Oscars telecast).

Only the next morning do Hudson and Boone Issacs agree to meet with the 25. The Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, of which I’m a part, is calling for its own meeting with the two. After all, in emails, we had made our anger toward the blacks-only/anti-Asian telecast known to Hudson the day after the telecast. Yet all she said was that she heard our anger and the Academy would be addressing it throughout the year.

I told The L.A. Daily News, “I’m thinking ‘throughout the year’? Why don’t you address it now?!” As George Takei insinuated, are these people brain-dead? I declared, “It’s lame, it’s late, and it means nothing… In fact, it speaks volumes that they waited 16 days to say anything about this… It just showed to me that they don’t take anybody seriously except angry black people.”

There Is a God Department: Despite being the lowest-rated show on network television, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” — featuring Vincent Rodriguez III as the love interest of star/co-creator Rachel Bloom — was renewed for a second season. Luckily, the critical praise (and Bloom’s Golden Globe win for best actress in a comedy series) helped. The endlessly creative and funny musical airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on the CW.

Into the Mailbag Department: Got a nice email from Wes Tanaka, a longtime supporter. “Guy, many, many thanks for the very thoughtful and caring remembrance of Sam Chu Lin! His passing was such a shock for so many of us. It’s hard to believe he has been gone now for 10 years! For me, personally, I am so glad we had such a great friendship and shared some fun adventures, like our trip to D.C. to attend the APAICS conference and gala. I’m glad too that along with Sam, [wife]Judy, [sons]Mark and Christopher also became good friends. I was so pleased to attend Christopher’s wedding in Colorado in 2014. It was sad with Sam not being there but we all felt his spirit.

“These days with everything going on in the world, I often ask myself, ‘What would Sam think?’ From the way the Asian American community was treated at the Academy Awards (as you so noted in your article) to today’s political turmoil, I know Sam would be in the thick of it!!

“Again, thank you for remembering Sam. I’m sending a copy of The Rafu to Judy to ensure she and her family see your thoughtful remembrances of Sam!”

Until next time, keep your eyes and ears open.

Guy Aoki, co-founder of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, writes from Glendale. He can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

 

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