Back in 2004, myself and another BuzzFocus writer had the chance to see Sean “Diddy” Combs take to the stage in the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun. Granted, his lack of acting depth was noticeable at the time, especially as he was surrounded by the deep talents of Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan. However, he gave a spirited performance and was the primary reason the show was sold out for it’s ten week run. All things considered, it’s not easy to just star in a Broadway play on short notice, but he handled it quite well.
The multi-hyphenated business man took to the small screen similarly last night, guest starring on Hawaii Five-0′s twenty-first episode “Ho’opa’i.” This time around, though he was surrounded by a cast of actors already at home in their own show, he held his own and actually made for one heck of a guest spot.
Combs played Reggie Cole, a New York detective cop that spent two years undercover in the crime family of mob boss Jimmy Cannon (Keith David). When he visits his wife Lisa (Selita Ebanks) and son Kevin (Kwesi Boakye) in Hawaii, Lisa is brutally murdered after Reggie’s cover is blown. Reggie is also shot in the process, but vows to protect his son from the murderous mobster, who he suspects ordered the hit. Reggie’s subsequent escape from the hospital embarked a race against time for the Hawaii Five-O squad to bring Cannon to justice, fend off the FBI and find Reggie before he gets more people hurt.
Five-O had a slightly more serious tone last night, a mood which kicked off with Diddy’s hit song “I’m Coming Home” in the opening shot. Diddy’s role wasn’t exactly an easy one, as it required a range of emotions as well as some gun-wielding action. It was easy to care about his situation and he realistically conveyed the psyche of a man on the run seeking vengeance for the loss of his wife. Seeing him team up with Steve, Danno, Chin and Kono was also a nice change of pace. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be more than a case of big time celebrity dips in and out of a show, but Combs definitely left his mark. They even left it open for him to return to help out the team in Hawaii (though I doubt that will happen).
Overall, it was definitely an entertaining session of the show, though not void of the expected clichéd twists typically seen in a revenge plot. It turned out that Reggie’s cover was blown by one of the agents on his protection detail and that Cannon had not in fact ordered the hit, but his son did. The only thing missing was the son screaming out “And I would’ve gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for you crazy kids” (Scooby Doo reference over).