November 02, 2010

Adam Beach in Hawaii Five-0

Monday's episode of Hawaii Five-0 (airdate: 11/2/10) featured Adam Beach. Here's the story:

Hawaii Five-0: “Ho’apono”--review

By Gerald SoNavy SEAL Graham (Adam Beach), suspected of killing his wife, runs from police and takes seven tourists hostage aboard the U.S.S. Missouri memorial, intending to force a search for “the real killer.” McGarrett sneaks aboard to negotiate with Graham while Danno, Chin Ho, and Kono investigate Graham’s claim that someone else killed his wife.

Graham had suffered from post-traumatic stress since his SEAL team was ambushed in Iraq and children were caught in the crossfire. He had a history of arguing with his wife and had stopped taking his medication, believing it was clouding his judgment. In short, Graham could have killed his wife and have no recollection of doing it. Adam Beach played Graham’s sympathetic, confused, and violent sides well.
Comment:  Thankfully, Beach didn't play another cousin to Chin Ho and Kono. <g>

The episode didn't mention Indians or Indian lore, which is fine. It's not necessary in a quick-paced cop drama like this one.

Because of his character's PTSD, Beach got a chance to emote. I think he did a good job.

All in all, I'd say this was a better than average episode of Hawaii Five-0. More psychological tension, less nonstop action. It wasn't great, but it was definitely watchable.

For more on Hawaii Five-0, see Asians in Hawaii Five-0 Remake and Review of Hawaii Five-0 Remake. For more on Adam Beach, see Who Are the Great Native Actors? and Beach's Role in Cowboys and Aliens.

Below:  Graham Wilson (Adam Beach) holds Steve McGarrett hostage.


Anonymous said...

I liked the fact that he wasn't 'overtly' Native. He was just an average guy, not mystical or savage etc. I also you gave me a good laugh with your cousin comment.


Rob said...

Yes, the "average guy" thing is okay in moderation. It becomes a problem when the writers go out of their way to avoid a character's background.

Take Beach's entire year as a regular on Law and Order: SVU. They mentioned his character's Native heritage only a couple of times, in passing. Meanwhile, we get frequent references to Stabler's Catholicism and Tutuola's blackness. Why the obvious disparity?

dmarks said...

"They mentioned his character's Native heritage only a couple of times"

An "ethnic" character who wears his ethnicity on his sleeve is also a type of stereotype.

Rob said...

True, DMarks. I'm suggesting a moderate focus on a person's ethnic (racial and religious) background. As SVU does with Stabler and Tutuola.

When I talk with Indians, their background comes up sometimes. Not constantly or frequently, but not rarely or never, either. My past as a white, middle-class, math/computer guy informs my present and so does theirs.

Reflecting that in fictional dramas is realistic, not didactic or preachy. It's a good writing practice that makes for better storytelling.

Anonymous said...

Well, could you imagine if they did make a big deal about it? In the Five Token Band, such as SVU, the Indian's role is that of Sixth Ranger; after all, look at the Trope Namer. Beach's character on SVU is a classic subversion of that. (Ha! Your new partner is nuts!)