Just watched "A Lion in the Streets" again...

by ringfire211 Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:27 pm

... and I can't believe how baaaaad William Smith's acting was. Ugghh!! In particular take a look at the scene where he comes to Andy Kamoku's house and he's trying to convince Andy and his vigilante pals to give it up and let McGarrett help them. His "acting" there is absolutely pathetic! He's flailing his arms, his body is arched in all sorts of contortions and poses, then his arms become all droopy (like's he's a knuckle-dragging caveman), and his facial expressions range from wanting to cry to wanting to gag to wanting to smile. I have absolutely no clue what you call that but that ain't acting! I was reminded of Mark Lenard's twitchy and groan-inducing "performance" in "To Hell With Babe Ruth". It's like Smith was competing with Lenard during that scene for WORST FIVE-O PERFORMANCE. Oh, and how about later when he comes to see Andy's wife (after Andy has just gone after Alika) and what does he tell the wife??? He says that her husband "is one big beautiful dude"!! Whhhaaaat??? Who says that?? Who the heck wrote those lines for Smith to say??? Was Robert Janes smoking something when he wrote that?? Was that just Smith ad-libbing? Sure, Carew is supposed to be this rough dude from Boston but "big beautiful dude"?? It might have worked if it was supposed to be a funny scene, but this was a dramatic moment where he pleads with Andy's wife to help him find her husband. Yikes! Talk about stupid dialogue! William Smith is effective when he plays the strong silent type - a menacing villain. But doing high drama and emotion??? Heaven help us!!

Yet another reason why this episode doesn't deserve anything close to 4 stars. Even Paul L. Smith (who looks Hawaiian enough even though he's not) as Andy Kamoku gets annoying pretty quickly with his constant yelling and outbursts. The only one who's consistently great here (as in his other episodes) is Ross Martin as Tony Alika! I dig his mannerisms and his attempts at pidgin Hawaiian (he's quite good). Other than that it's just not an episode I really care for. I wouldn't even give it 3 stars. 2 stars is about right. Hey, I used to like it even less when I was a kid. So I'm being charitable here. The following episode "Who Says Cops Don't Cry" was definitely an improvement. Even William Smith was tolerable there!

by Johnny 6 Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:27 am


I'm a fan of A Lion In The Streets. I thought the episode was authentic and realistic the way Andy refused to get into the election but was forced into it as each person running up against Mio became beat up and ended their run. William L. Smith was not the best actor in the episode but captured a raw, rough quality that I enjoyed. His style differed from McG that's for sure. It would have been interesting if William L. Smith's character Carew had replaced Kono instead of Ben. How Hawaii Five O might have been different. Alika was one of the best villain characters on HFO. I'm not one for violence but when Big Andy was swinging his bat and destroying things...I could sympathize with him.

McG was in a tough situation with the kapu on him. A great Season 12 opener as the season would gradually go downhill afterwards. The ending scene with Alika and Carew was awkward and I probably drop it down to 3.5 on a 4 star system.

by ringfire211 Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:08 am

The ending scene with Alika and Carew was awkward and I probably drop it down to 3.5 on a 4 star system.

Do you mean the ending scene between McGarrett and Carew? There was no ending scene with Alika and Carew. But speaking of the scene where Carew bullies Alika and pushes him into the water I loved that scene! That's the one scene where I actually enjoyed William Smith. He's good in those sorts of scenes, not when he's trying to pour his heart out or plead with someone (he's just atrocious in those scenes!). I love when Alika yells at Billy Swan (who's laying out cold on the beach) to "GET UP AND TAKE CARE OF THIS GUY!!!"

I'd still go with "Though the Heavens Fall" as my favorite from season 12. Dig the whole vigilante gentlemen's club idea, Robert Reed all in white, and the "most dangerous game" human hunt at the end. I also recall "Voice of Terror" as being a superior entry that season but I haven't seen it in ages.

by Johnny 6 Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:38 pm


Season 12 not as good as Seasons 1,3,6 and others but A Lion In The Streets was a very interesting episode. Carew sure had revenge on his mind. A younger McG would have put Carew in his place right away but he needed Carew when the kapu was initiated making McG taboo. A Lion In The Streets I think is a masterpiece. You can see the drama building like a runaway train building up speed to its final conclusion. The first 2 or 3 episodes of Season 12 are of high quality. Wonder if the actors got wind it was its final year. The quality of episodes and the writing seems to drop through the season. They probably could have wrapped up Hawaii Five O after 10 seasons when Chin Ho was murdered in A Death In The Family. I do like some episodes in Season 11 so I'm glad they pressed on with the show. The Alika character was in the top percentile of HFO villains.

by todd Tue May 16, 2017 1:27 am


Just watched this one again myself.

I agree mostly with ringfire211 on this one. 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 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!

I agree with ringfire that 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.

BTW, I saw "Voice of Terror" mentioned as a possible good Season 12 episode. I disagree. It was awful. I noticed that Mike hated it, as well.

Season 12 suffered from two problems.

First, the show had just gotten old, and was running out of ideas. It also had lost all of its original actors besides Jack Lord. That sort of thing always occurs when a show runs for too long.

However, the second factor was Jack Lord himself. He was a very talented actor, and he WAS McGarrett, but he took too much creative control of the show. Jack Lord pretty much controlled everything by Season 12, and you could see that the quality of the previous seasons just wasn't there. Jack Lord was someone who really should have just stuck to acting, and not attempted to get involved in the entire show's process. That should have been left to the experts.

by Mr. Mike Tue May 16, 2017 7:55 am

The truth will out about this episode!

When I got the season 12 DVDs, and I recall I got them from a local store some time before they were actually released on the official date, this show was the only one which I did not watch again because I was operating on kind of a tight schedule to get the whole season re-viewed.

Because I remembered it was one of the better episodes for the season, I decided to just leave it for later.

Well, with Five-Zero's latest season finished, I think "later" has finally arrived and I can probably watch it again some time before next September!

by John Chergi Tue May 16, 2017 9:53 pm

I'll defend A Lion In The Streets. It's the best Season 12 episode. That's not saying much like the best looking cactus in Arizona. The entire episode is fascinating start to finish. It's a great escalation episode like Number One With A Bullet. Starting with the blowing up of Bernie Adams and his car then moving from there. Similarly, A Lion In The Streets starts out with a man beaten up in a parking lot. He's running for the election Labor Union. Was the man just a victim of random crime or trying to be forced out of the race? We all know the truth as the viewer. Alika is backing Johnny Mio to win the election and his goons will force out any competition.
Andy emerges as a candidate after another candidate is roughed up and ends in the hospital. The secondary story also is a strong one as Carew arrives in Hawaii hoping to avenge the death of his wife and child. The stories merge as Carew believes Mio knows who was involved in the murder of his family.
McGarrett has his suspicions this Mio receiving the backing of Alika but doesn't have the proof. Things escalate after the judge releases Alika on some kind of technicality. Andy waited for the law and justice system to work and it failed. I think A Lion In The Streets is an excellent and tense episode. A better ending to A Lion In The Streets and I would have to think about putting it in my Top 20 episodes. JC

by todd Tue May 16, 2017 10:14 pm

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.

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.

Last edited by todd on Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

by todd Tue May 16, 2017 10:33 pm

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 ruilngs.

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?

Anyway, I think I might watch "Who Says Cops Don't Cry?" next.

by ringfire211 Fri May 19, 2017 11:41 am

Enjoy! "Who Says Cops Don't Cry?" is definitely a better episode. And directed by Jack Lord to boot!

So is the episode after that one - "Though the Heavens Fall". It's about vigilantes which is always a fun topic . As long as you don't set your expectations too high and expect something like "Mother's Deadly Helper" then you should have no problem enjoying it. Good score by Bruce Broughton too - especially when the vigilantes are scaling that cliff side when kidnapping Mr. Howell.