Performer of the Week: Daniel Dae Kim

THE PERFORMER | Daniel Dae Kim

THE SHOW | Hawaii Five-0

THE EPISODE | “Ka’ili Aku (Snatchback)” (Dec. 16, 2016)

THE PERFORMANCE | Five-0 is well-known for its weekly running-and-gunning, but when it puts a main character in the emotional crosshairs, it packs just as powerful a dramatic punch.

From the moment that Chin Ho Kelly received word that his young niece Sara had been kidnapped in Mexico — catapulting him straight out of his own birthday party and onto the seat of his speeding motorcycle — Kim showed us just how serious the stakes were for his character. With his team’s support down in Juarez, Chin did his best to keep a level head, but when Sara’s adoptive father appeared to be in on the abduction, he simply snapped. “Was this you?” he grilled Jorge at gunpoint, in the wake of a gang ambush. “Was this you?!”

Juxtaposed with such intense moments (including where he coldly put a bullet into the foot of a dirty Juarez cop), Kim also allowed insight into Chin’s psyche as he processed the bigger picture. “The biggest threat to Sara wasn’t [her new parents]; it was me,” he lamented to cousin Kono. “Why is it that we’re always putting the ones we love most in harm’s way?”

In the end, yes, Chin secured Sara’s safety, though not without paying the highest of prices — surrendering himself to the cartel that sought revenge against Five-0. But before steeling himself for that most uncertain of fates, he gave his niece a tearful embrace, doing his best to honor her wish that he will be there when she returns home. “I will always be there,” he assured her — if only in her heart.

Holland Roden HMHONORABLE MENTION | It’s ironic that Teen Wolf‘s final season revolves around the characters being forgotten, because the MTV drama’s cast has been churning out some of the series’ most unforgettable performances in recent weeks. And Tuesday’s episode shone a well-deserved spotlight on the talents of everyone’s favorite banshee Holland Roden. From her tear-stained despair upon realizing that Stiles might really be lost forever, to her overwhelming relief when he finally made contact with the pack, Lydia has never appeared more vulnerable to the audience — and Roden masterfully conveyed those complicated emotions in a way that felt natural, effortless and real.

HONORABLE mel-rodriguez-the-last-man-on-earth-season-3-hmMENTION | It’s a very special gift as an actor to be able to say everything without saying anything at all. In The Last Man on Earth‘s fall finale, Mel Rodriguez did just that. The look on Todd’s face as he realized he had to betray Melissa’s trust for her own good told us everything we needed to know — and then some. As much as it crushed him to conclude that she had to be isolated if she was ever going to overcome her psychological afflictions, it broke our hearts even more to see the toll this fact took on him. If Todd’s tears outside Melissa’s door didn’t tug at your heartstrings, let’s face it: You’re a monster.

Which performance knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in Comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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26 Comments
  1. Annette says:

    H5O was amazing Friday night,Daniel Dae Kim’s performance was fantastic!The cliff hanger great can’t wait for the show to come back after the first of the year,hope its not too long a wait!!💖

  2. MMD says:

    Daniel Dae Kim gave a powerful performance this week and is well deserving of this honour. I am absolutely scared for his character and in my gut, I really don’t think he will get out of this one alive. I so hope that for the rare time, my gut is wrong.

  3. Andy says:

    Is the honorable mention for Holland Roden meant to be sarcastic? Has anyone even watched her in that episode or did MTV bribe someone to write about her in this article?

    Where was her “tear-stained despair”? If you had watched the episode you would have noticed that Holland Roden was not able to produce a single tear during her performance. When the preview clip about her “despair” was released before the episode everyone in the fandom even pointed out that she was just scrunching up her face but there was no tear in sight whatsoever.

    I can’t believe that you are praising her performance (that was bad acting for the whole episode btw) by praising and pointing something out that was not even there.

  4. Joey Padron says:

    Happy Daniel Dae Kim got performer of the week. He did great in new episode of Hawaii Five-0 yesterday. Hope Chin will be ok when the returns in Janaury. Glad Mel got honorable mention, he did great on The Last Man On Earth’s fall finale episode.

  5. Alec says:

    I can’t stop laughing at the honorable mention for Holland Roden.

  6. peterwdawson says:

    Can Daniel Dae Kim’s next role, whenever H50 wraps up, be something awesome? Guy needs more respect for somehow making his character still feel human and not like a cartoon character with a permanent raincloud over his head.

    • Marci says:

      My sentiments exactly. I’m done with these life-craps-on Chin scenarios. Why can’t they let him be happy for 5 minutes? I only watched the last 10 minutes of last night’s episode; of course, it ended on a tiresome cliffhanger. I’ll be watching only the last 10 minutes of each episode until this storyline is over.

  7. ragnar51 says:

    So happy to see Daniel Dae Kim recognized. When the H50 reboot was announced I really didn’t think much of the idea but gave it a look see because I’d enjoyed watching Alex O in Moonlight. Even with the many cast changes I’m still a big H50 fan. I also really like the banter between Steve and Dano

  8. Daniel Dae Kim definitely deserves Performer of the Week! He was absolutely amazing on H50 last night. But I think Hayden Panettiere, Geena Davis, and Alfonso Herrera should be honorable mentions.

  9. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Daniel K’s performance was REALLY GOOD…..I don’t watch H-50 that much but have seen reruns on TNT when it comes on. I hope they don’t kill off his character after all he did make another promise to his niece that he’ll be around…..so he HAS too stay alive for her!😊

  10. Definitely well deserved! I’ve been a fan of DDK’s since his days on Angel that’s the reason why I watched H50 in the first place. I think Daniel took a lot into his heart in that final scene and yes he’ll be back he has been seen filming around Honolulu just hours before this episode aired so Chin is not dead don’t threat just gotta figure out how he is going to return. H50 can’t get rid of Daniel the producers, cast and crew members love him on set he works hard they wont let him go. Even though he has 3 shows in the making for next season it doesn’t mean he is leaving the show like Alex will be when after S8.

  11. Maria Duran says:

    I love the scene, he is amazing actor..congratulation..

  12. Claire says:

    Yes to Daniel Dae Kim, no to Holland Roden. An honorable mention should have been given to Connie Britton or Hayden Panettiere instead, seeing how the two of them know how to express emotion without simply looking confused all the time.

  13. grazelled says:

    There’s just something about DDK’s ability to make me feel what his character is going through. For a few seconds when he was hugging Sara as he said he’d there for her I felt transported back to him and Sun as they hugged goodbye on Lost. I sure hope Chin will be back on H50.

  14. maregolden says:

    I agree that his performance was very good, but don’t the writers get tired of constantly having cliffhangers where either Chin or Kono are in mortal danger? It’s really getting old.

  15. Another Poster says:

    I hope Daniel Dae Kim does return alive and in one piece. The ratings are good enough for the show to be renewed and they don’t need to kill off a major character to get people to watch. They are losing Masi Oka, who’s leaving because he feels it’s time for a change in his life. To lose Chin Ho Kelly as well would really hurt the team. For the record the original Chin Ho Kelly, portrayed by Kam Fong Chun was killed off after he wanted to leave the show, (he was on the program for many seasons and he felt the episodes had become too predictable), and he died while on an undercover mission. I hope the same thing does not also happen to Daniel Dae Kim. That history does not repeat itself.

  16. Lyn Magrath says:

    H5O is one of my favorite shows! But come on. This was right of the movie Man on Fire. Denzel doing the same thing to save the little girl.

  17. Holland was PHENOMENAL in this episode. Actually, she is being PHENOMENAL the entire show and especially now on Season 6! I’m glad she is being recognized.

    • Guest says:

      Thank you! I keep seeing all of this Holland hate that I truly don’t understand! She has been amazing the entire series but these episode this season..my gosh on a whole different level! Don’t worry about these hateful losers Holland, you are phenomenal!

  18. Philip says:

    Is this the final POTW for 2016 or will there be one more this week, just like last year at this time?