Hawaii Five-0 (2010) -- Season 1 Reviews

INCLUDING ODDITIES, GOOFS AND TRIVIA

Copyright ©2010-2011 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission.


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OUR RATINGS:
= One of the very best episodes, a must-see.
= Better than average, worthy of attention.
= Average, perhaps with a few moments of interest.
= One of the very worst, a show to avoid.
SEASON ONE!
1. Pilot
Original air date: 9/20/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
Overall, this pilot episode was better than I expected, though not without some issues. The writers compressed a considerable amount of action and plot, including a lot of back story about the characters, into three-quarters of an hour. At times there was too much information, not to mention the silly-if-you-think-about-it all-encompassing task force with carte blanche access to all sorts of sophisticated weaponry and technology created by Governor Pat Jameson (Jean Smart) which becomes Five-0.

Alex O'Loughlin as McGarrett did a good job (and no ... he does not have an Australian accent -- really), though his serious, determined character seemed even more wedded to his job than Jack Lord's McGarrett. I found the transition from McGarrett bitching out the Governor at Pearl Harbor at the beginning of the show to him suddenly renewing his friendship with Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) too abrupt. I also thought McGarrett could have taken the time to shave for his father's funeral. Maybe this was a reference to the original McGarrett, who, in an early season episode, responded to a doctor who asked him, "Have you looked in the mirror lately?" by saying "Only when I shave, and I do that running."

Kim played his part, which hopefully will be developed more in future episodes, in an easy-going, laid-back manner. I enjoyed the banter between McGarrett and Danny Williams (Scott Caan). I can see now why James MacArthur reportedly liked this pilot -- Danno has a real attitude. Grace Park as Kono, on the other hand, had a thankless role. People who like the old show will dislike her for taking over the role played by Zoulou and people who watch the new show will see her as Mod Squad eye candy. A former champion surfer and soon-to-graduate rookie cop, her character is brought into the Five-0 team because she is supposedly an unknown quantity to the bad guys in Hawaii, a strategy that fails very quickly. In real life, after her job was up, she would have been let go with thanks.

I didn't like the ants-in-the-pants photography with a camera that cannot stop moving and rapid-fire editing, highly reminiscent of Jerry Bruckheimer productions like Armageddon. (The director of the pilot, Len Wiseman, had only three films to his credit prior to this one, including the Bruce Willis vehicle Live Free or Die Hard, which turned into a live-action cartoon in its finale.) As well, the fact that the photography is digital works to the detriment of the scenery, giving everything a Pixar-like quality.

The climactic fight on top of the container between McGarrett and his nemesis Victor Hesse was silly -- it reminded me of a video game. As well, McGarrett shoots Hesse with his gun that "conveniently" lands just beside where he falls after he is shot by Hesse. We then see Hesse fall into the water, but the big question is: did he really die?

The score was one of my major beefs with the early version of the pilot I saw, and despite the re-recording of the main theme (beginning and end credits -- the end credits weren't even heard on Global TV in Canada), things didn't improve much, though I notice the music for the Kono striptease scene was changed, made louder and more intense. The bottom line is: the score for this pilot episode was crap. Just like someone preparing for a first date, you would expect that the producers would want to make the best possible impression on people with their labor of love. I really have to wonder how much of the show's reported $8 million budget was spent on the score which TWO people worked on, according to the opening credits -- Brian Tyler and Keith Power. One thing that grabs you about the old pilot is the score, much of which ended up on the soundtrack album. Can you imagine the same thing happening for the new pilot's music? I can already see a "Music Inspired By" soundtrack for the new Five-0 coming out ... which is a fancy way of saying a CD with virtually no original music on it other than one or two pieces which were actually heard in the show, like the iconic main theme. The rest would be complete selections of rap and other drivel which was heard for a few seconds playing in the background.

The ending is lame, with the Five-0 team sitting around in their offices drinking beer, talking about the success of their first operation, and trying to come up with a name for the team. In an early version of the pilot, the words "Hawaii Five-0" flashed on the screen at the very end (in the broadcast version, it was the executive producers' names), giving some closure to the episode.

Overall, I give this pilot two and a half stars. I said earlier that I would give it three if the music was improved, which it was, but only for the Morton Stevens theme.

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2. Ohana (Family)
Original air date: 9/27/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
This show had a certain "24" vibe to it, fast-paced and full of energy. However, like "24," a show I watched religiously, if you think about this episode carefully, there are lots of "things to talk about."

The beginning starts with a bang as Roland Lowry (Scott Cohen), a former National Security Agency computer genius who had top-secret clearance, is kidnapped by Serbians after the van he is riding in with two bodyguards is T-boned in downtown Honolulu at 6:15 in the morning. Lowry, who has a bank of computers in his house in a hidden room, was on his way to warn army bigshot General Tom Nathanson (Ned Van Zandt) about serious security threats to Hawaii.

When the bad guys' white truck plows into Lowry's black van (license number D5V 238) from its right side (looking forward), the front of the black truck goes flying off to its left when viewed from the front, but in a subsequent shot of the crash from the behind the black van, this is not the case. Also, in succeeding shots of the white truck after the bad guys jump out and start shooting, you can see a bunch of foliage behind it, but this white truck came out of nowhere at fast speed and I don't recall it spun around or anything after the crash. So the foliage behind this truck doesn't make sense; it should be a street behind the white truck. You also have to wonder ... if they T-boned Lowry's van, wasn't there a chance that they might kill or seriously injure him? What if he was not wearing his seatbelt, for example, even though being a paranoid-geeky-anal-computer-security ex-NSA type, this was probably unlikely.

McGarrett and Danno start the show carrying on like The Odd Couple again, something which I hope will be toned down in future episodes. The opening scene reveals some interesting trivia and clues, however.

Before Danno arrives, McGarrett is listening to a tape of his father's which was in the toolbox with the Champion sparkplug label on it. When McGarrett closes the box, if you look very quickly (this only lasts for a few frames), you can see there is an envelope in the box: Photo #1; Photo #2. It is addressed to John (presumably McGarrett) and the street address starts with 404, which was McGarrett's street number in the original show (404 Piikoi Street, which is a real address, across the street from the Ala Moana Shopping Centre). The postal code on this letter is 96821, which is not the code for 404 Piikoi Street which is 96814. If you investigate the 96821 postal code with Google maps -- http://bit.ly/dgNrpB -- it turns out to be a location in the middle of nowhere where there aren't even any roads. It is not McGarrett's father's beach house. Also on the letter, there are what looks like some stick men drawn in semaphore code. But aside from the letters U, N and U, this "message" doesn't make any sense.

McGarrett and Danno's squabbling is interrupted by a call from the Governor who enlists Five-0's help to find what has happened to Lowry. When the team arrives at the crash scene, Chin Ho is treated like a leper by some cop that he knew when he was on the force at HPD. Chin notices a traffic camera nearby and later pulls up footage that was taken during the crash. The first traffic camera shot of the accident shows long shadows on the ground like from telephone poles. In a subsequent shot, these shadows aren't there, and in the last such shot, there is what looks like the shadow of a tree. These traffic cam shots have different numbers at the bottom (not the time), suggesting there was more than one camera, even though Chin Ho points out only one originally. And the final "camera shot" is of one of the wounded Serbs going into some building after his comrades abandon him and leave with Lowry. This camera has no number at all on the bottom. Is it the traffic camera or another security camera? The presumably stationary traffic camera isn't like the one in Blade Runner which can go around corners!

To help them understand the significance of the computers in Lowry's house, McGarrett and Danno enlist the help of Adam Charles (Martin Starr), a clichéd computer hacker who can type 200 words per minute (sort of like the way Stephen King writes, I imagine) and can immediately grasp everything about what is going on by just a few quick glances at the monitor screens.

Lowry's girl friend Natalie Reed (Ivana Milicevic) offers to take care of Lowry's son Evan (Colin Ford) after the kidnapping and Kono hangs out with both of them, making sure that the kid is OK. Soon enough, Kono discovers some Cyrillic writing on a pad in a drawer at Reed's house, and puts two and two together, i.e., Reed is one of the Serbians (her name is later revealed to be Nadia Lukovic). A terrific kick-ass fight between the two women follows, ending up in the back yard swimming pool, just as the ringleader of the Serbians, Drago Zankovic (Peter Stormare), arrives on the scene. He forces Kono to drive himself, Nadia and Evan to Dillingham Field.

This is where things start to get "24" dumb. At Dillingham, the Serbians are using Lowry's expertise to lower the radar around Oahu so a couple of mysterious Asian-looking guys can fly in and they can sell them some equally mysterious goods and/or services including some glowing electronic device that Lowry may have had in his suitcase when he was kidnapped that morning. McGarrett, Danno and Chin Ho just happens to be driving in the middle of nowhere (but in that neighborhood), and the Asians' black plane with no markings that is flying "under the radar" just happens to pass overhead. Chin Ho immediately knows that something sinister is going on and that the plane will land at Dillingham because "there is a skydiving school around here somewhere"!

Tied up with duct tape along with Evan in a warehouse-like building at Dillingham, Kono uses MacGyver-like ingenuity to use a nail to remove the tape binding her wrists, just as Five-0 arrives in the building, followed by a barrage of stunts, shooting and explosions.

There is a great "LOL" exchange at the end between McGarrett and Danno as Drago is taken away:

McGarrett: Book 'em, Danno
Williams: Really? Is that gonna be a thing now?
McGarrett: You don't like it?
Williams: I don't like it.
McGarrett: I think it's catchy.

The ending, with McGarrett, Danno and Chin Ho dressed in their navy and HPD uniforms (and McGarrett and Danno clean-shaven!) is touching. But wonders whether Chin Ho could really administer the HPD "oath of allegiance," considering he resigned from the force.

Oh yeah -- the music is still crap. Can't they have just a few seconds of the old music (even the main theme) in the show (and not just the titles where the old theme appears now). They do want to hook older viewers of the classic Five-O, don't they?

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3. Malama Ka Aina (Respect the Land)
Original air date: 10/4/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
The big problem with this show is the script, which verges on "Season 10 of the original show" territory -- which is to say, mediocre. There are far too many "it just so happens that..." moments, as well as other implausibilities.

For example, at the beginning "it just so happens that" the entire Five-0 team are grooving at a Kukui High School football game (same high school that Chin Ho and McGarrett attended) and "it just so happens that" Danno spots some potential troublemakers, which leads to shooting, which leads to Five-0's investigating connections between the local Samoans and Triads and the New Jersey Mafia. Like the beginning of the previous show, the topography of the shootout in this one, and especially the editing, leaves a lot to be desired. Although at one point McGarrett is aiming a gun right at one of the potential assassins, in subsequent shots this guy completely disappears. There are only five shots fired, yet "six friendlies are wounded" and "two hostiles are dead," according to McGarrett.

Like the original Chin Ho played by Kam Fong, Daniel Dae Kim's character has a lot of relatives, including cousin Sid, an undercover cop who flees from the gunplay. This cop hates Chin something fierce because of the scandal of corruption which caused Chin to leave the force that has tainted Sid in turn. When Chin finally catches up with Sid later, it's amazing that the relatively puny Chin can handcuff Sid, who is much larger, and drag him back to Five-0 headquarters (there is precedent for this in the earlier show, where Chin Ho had to deal with punks in a manner which was laughable).

Like in the original show, in this one, McGarrett is all-knowing. He knows, for example, that a tattoo on the dead shooter from the football game is a "14K tattoo," meaning he is a Triad enforcer. (Triads are Chinese criminal organizations. Presumably people know this? They were featured in the original series episode Nine Dragons.) McGarrett knows about the history of Triad and Samoan gangs on Oahu. And he also knows that taking iodine and spraying it on a pizza box (and "it just so happens" that there is iodine and a spray bottle handy) will reveal that the box was used to transport guns.

Five-0's investigation leads them to Joey (Max Casella), the owner of West of Queens Pizza who, like Danno, is from New Jersey. Joey (who should have been played by Joe Pesci) has connections to the Salvo Mafia family from that state (who are into "prostitution, loan sharking, protection and drugs"). He is taken for a ride by McGarrett and Danno in a fancy yacht (is this an expense paid for by the Governor?) out to a shark cage in the middle of the harbor and tossed into it. Despite McGarrett's comment to Danno that the Galapagos sharks circling nearbly are "harmless," at least one web page describes them as "dangerous" and capable of aggressive behavior towards humans. This scene leaves a lot to be desired from the angle of civil rights -- even Jack Bauer from "24" never went this far.

The Governor also throws more money away with the formally-dressed McGarrett and Danno driving in a 2010 Ferrari California Convertible GT to a gambling den in Hawaii Loa Ridge, described on a web page as "a private suburban subdivision in East Honolulu with its own tennis courts, parks, club house and gatehouse security." This is where things start to get very stupid, aside from some peculiar jerky photography focusing on the waitresses at this event, which includes the undercover Kono. "It just so happens that" Chin's cousin Sid, as part of his undercover guise, is in charge of security for this joint, and he sneaks McGarrett and Danno in on the invitation-only guest list. It takes Salvo's goons about two minutes to figure out something is fishy, which puts Sid's life in serious peril. (But you have to wonder why Salvo's men also wouldn't check the employees, including Kono. She not only serves drinks, but is the waitress who serves a drink to Salvo himself while she is attaching a hidden microphone with David Copperfield-like stealth to his clothing.) Later, Danno and Kono pretend to be a couple making out (nice perk, Danno!) so they can thwart Salvo's assassination of Sid, which ends up in a ridiculous poolside gun battle with Chin Ho arriving with "backup" (which seems to be no one).

The show ends back at the Five-0 headquarters, with the team watching some old football footage of McGarrett, who was wearing number 50, "five-o" (note: not five-zero). The explanation for this number (you know where this is going) is very lame.

There are a few funny moments in the show, all emanating from Danno. For one thing, we learn that Danno talks about McGarrett to his daughter Grace. McGarrett also tells Danno "I can't wait to meet your ex," to which Danno replies, "Yeah, the two of you can plan my demise." The obligatory line pops up when McGarrett lets a suspect go and says to Danno, "You want me to book him ... Danno?" (O'Loughlin says this with a smirk.) Danno replies, "That's funny? You know there is something wrong with you, right?" Scott Caan has a couple of pretty emotional scenes, one where he talks to his ex-wife's lawyer on the phone, the second where he thinks he is talking to his ex via the intercom at the gate of her palatial estate.

The non-stop music in this show is still crap. McGarrett's chase through the International Marketplace uses what sounds like the same underscore as the shootout from the beginning of episode two. We are only in the third show -- are they already using "stock tracks"? Of course, much of the score is so generic, it is difficult to tell. I kept asking myself throughout the show, "Does this music ever SHUT UP?" As well, the sound mix has a lot of problems, making some of the dialogue incomprehensible.

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4. Lanakila (Victory)
Original air date: 10/11/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
This episode was an improvement over the previous week's (it could hardly be worse), likely because the script was by the main trio of "rebooters": Lenkov, Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Scott Caan suffered a knee injury in mid-August, which was written into the script. At the beginning he is shown at the doctor's office, and when the doctor tries to be sympathetic, Danno goes into a rant about his new job. Meanwhile, McGarrett has to contend with his sister Mary (Taryn Manning) who arrives from Los Angeles and gets arrested for tampering with the plane's washroom smoke detector. I liked McGarrett's sister, who I was prepared to dislike because of what I had read both about the character from the pilot script and comments Manning had made about her role earlier ("I don't have anything to live up to as far as the character I am portraying." [!!!]) , though there is a serious physical discrepancy between the two characters. Do they both have the same mother?

The off-the-wall bad guy in this episode, Walton Dawkins (Balthazar Getty, in a scenery-chewing performance) is very bad. He is a convict who escapes after taking a guard hostage at the Halawa Correctional Facility and shoots to kill without hesitation. He wants to hook up with Craig Ellers, who he knows as Paul Stark. The two of them committed a $5 million robbery back on the mainland several years before, and Dawkins got screwed out of his share. Dawkins recognizes Stark on a TV game show, where he "just happens to be" the boyfriend of Dana, a woman who wins a million dollars and a trip to Hawaii.

This is far-fetched, but not as much as the way Dawkins escapes from Halawa. He Crazy Glues a guard's mouth shut, has the guard hold a gun via some kind of a splint attached to his arm and dresses the guard in a prison orange jumpsuit, then makes the guard try to escape from the main gate where he is mowed down by a SWAT team, who think he is Dawkins. Where is the motivation for the guard to do all this? Dawkins is not seen standing behind the guard pointing a gun at the his head, for example. Instead, dressed in the guard's uniform, Dawkins escapes easily while all the fuss is going on in some prison maintenance guy's car that he steals.

Following this, McGarrett and Danno go to Halawa and visit Dawkins' former convict neighbor for four and a half years (played by comedian D.L. Hughley). This scene is totally ridiculous. First McGarrett and Danno are in a yard with a large group of hardened convicts without any qualms at all (recall the kind of intense pressure Jack Lord's McGarrett was under in the first season show The Box). Then they grill the double-lifer with questions which any self-respecting convict would not answer in private, let alone in front of his fellow cellmates. It is especially ridiculous, considering McGarrett earlier threatened a guard involved in Dawkins' escape with putting him into the general population! McGarrett also engages in an equally stupid "let's make a deal" game of one-on-one basketball with Hughley's character, who thinks that "White Cops Can't Jump."

Dawkins makes his way to the hotel room where Stark and his girl friend Dana are staying. After shooting Dana and leaving her for dead, he forces Stark to drive to a bank and wire $5 million to himself. There are real serious problems with this scenario. For one thing, Stark doesn't live in Hawaii, therefore he would have to present major identification for such a large transaction. Second, there is the time difference between Switzerland and Hawaii, which is 12 hours. And third, what bank would have $5 million in cash available to give Stark? Banks have to pre-order their funds for the day and would not be prepared for such a huge amount in advance.

Despite these non-existent obstacles, Stark gets the money, Dawkins takes it, shoots Stark, steals a bank employee's car, then swaps that car for his girl friend's, drives to some helicopter sightseeing company, and forces the pilot to fly him and a family of hostages to Molokai, even though the helicopter is almost out of gas. Thanks to assistance from McGarrett's naval girl friend Catherine stationed in the Persian Gulf (Michelle Borth), who uses high-tech resources to track Dawkins' car, McGarrett and Chin are hot on Dawkins' trail.

The ensuing jungle action on "Molokai" (which was filmed on Oahu) is not bad, though the big climax when McGarrett finally shoots Dawkins, who slides down an embankment, is kind of disappointing.

Once again there are the usual annoying tourist shots of people surfing and so forth (all young people, I might add), and the music is mundane. The Bourne-type background music is heard when McGarrett and Danno are interviewing Dawkins' girl friend and also at the end when McGarrett and Chin are following Dawkins and his hostages. When McGarrett is talking to his sister, there is some guitar music (perhaps this is the new show's version of the "memories" theme?) and at the end some goopy vocal music over string-like sounds reminiscent of movies like Gladiator.

Overall, this episode had forward momentum and some nice scenes where McGarrett showed signs of unwinding with his sister and relating to Dana, the nearly-killed contest winner. But the dumb moments (the prison break, grilling of the convict and wiring of the money) again place it squarely in later-season classic Five-O territory. I really need quarter-stars for these reviews...

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5. Nalowale (Forgotten/Missing)
Original air date: 10/18/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
Considering the fifth episode of the original series was its first four-star episode, I was hoping this would also be a watershed show. Alas, not.

If this show was getting a rating for production values alone, I would give it high marks. The nighttime photography, as well as the set design and color scheme for the interior of the nightclub, for example, were well above average, reminiscent of the beginning of The Singapore File. On the other hand, the clichéd scenes of Hawaii were again annoying. Doesn't anyone in Hawaii do anything other than surf?

At the other extreme (negative) was the introduction of the coroner, Max Bergmann, the modern day version of "Doc." Played by former Heroes star Masi Oka, this character was just plain stupid. It's impossible to comprehend how this guy could deal with anyone, alive or dead, let alone get such a prominent position working for the City of Honolulu. Everything about this "tactile thinker" was gimmicky, especially having him play the piano (in the morgue!) to unwind. I couldn't understand anything he said at the beginning. Even McGarrett and Danno were at a loss for words. Terrible! This is Five-0, not Twin Peaks.

The dialogue throughout was banal. The Governor had little to say, instead being emotionally overwrought to the extreme. (She could hardly look at McGarrett and Danno when she met them at the morgue.) Whether this was because her friends, the Philippine ambassador Reeves and his wife, were put through the wringer over the kidnapping of their two daughters and murder of one, or because of other mysterious issues (to McGarrett: "I made a promise to a friend [his father?] and you let me keep it [huh?]") is difficult to say. Her asking Five-0 to get involved with the case in the first place was very reminiscent of seasons ten to twelve in the old show, where McGarrett and Five-O were often asked by the Governor to deal with the issues of rich folks who were his friends.

Carlos Begoyal, the bad guy in this show, a Filipino revolutionary leader responsible for abducting the ambassador's daughters, was super boring. At least the writers bothered to read up on radical movements in the Philippines ("an unstable region of the world") to give a slight semblance of reality to the leader and his followers' demands. In the old show, these guys would have been from some bogus country. The kung fu-fightin' match between McGarrett and Begoyal, who looked like he would be out of breath after running 10 feet, was silly.

McGarrett's girl friend's appearance was largely a waste of time, except to help out with some high-tech naval surveillance equpiment as in the previous show. It's amazing how all-knowing the Navy's equipment is, as well as the Five-0 custom-made computer system with its Minority Report-like touch screen and how both of these computers can find just about anything within a few seconds.

There is definitely something afoot with McGarrett's sister, though, as far as the contents of the mysterious toolbox belonging to their father is concerned. We got a closer look at the letter with the cryptic stick men on it as well as some stamps from Japan. A brief moment of interest amid the dross.

This business with McGarrett torturing the doped-up suspect in the kidnapping with an airhorn while grilling him really put me off. If I didn't have a certain interest in this show, at that point, I would have walked over to the TV and turned it off on this show for good.

This was just plain nasty ... and it took place in what looked like a cell in the basement of the Five-0 office. What is even more disturbing is that Danno, who was acting as a conscience to McGarrett for a while, querying why he would do things his way, now doesn't seem to care (drinking beer with McGarrett on the boat while the pizza guy flails in the shark cage, and now letting McGarrett blast an air horn into the guy's face).

By the end, I figured out what this show is starting to remind me of.

It's like you go to a restaurant regularly for years where the food is great. Then suddenly the restaurant is taken over by new management. The way they prepare the food is a bit different, but nothing to discourage you from coming back.

But then some evening when you are having a meal, something very small happens, just enough to change your mind. Maybe the food tastes just a bit off, or the waitress makes some comment that doesn't strike you the right way.

That's what the bit with the airhorn did for me.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention -- the music was crap once again. .

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6. Ko'olauloa (North[eastern] Shore of O'ahu)
Original air date: 10/25/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
Finally, a good show, where the hyperactive photography was not too distracting and the yellowish tinge was not in evidence (at least when I viewed the show in high resolution ... a 480p version, on the other hand, did not look so great). The beginning was sneaky, starting with the usual stereotypical surfing shots, but then, amazingly, the following action actually took place at a surfing contest, where what's going on was a major part of the story. This show had several connections (probably unintentional) to episodes from the old series -- among them Tall on the Wave (also about a surfing contest), The Banzai Pipeline (where a guy gets knocked off while surfing) and Strangers in Our Own Land (dealing with issues of Hawaiian nationalism -- though there were several other old shows which touched on this as well). Just like in Tall on the Wave, the music accompanying the surfing was crappy, but appropriate -- for a few minutes, anyway. At least we didn't have to endure the sight of Danno in a tank top and wearing bell-bottom trousers. This was Kono's show. Not only did Grace Park emote well, but she looked gorgeous. Ian Adams (Mark Cunningham, an internationally well-known surfer in real life), the guy who gets shot at the beginning, was Kono's old surfing instructor, though more recently he had turned into an evil entrepreneur intent on raping the earth. Kono's old boyfriend, Ben Bass (Joshua Dallas), the son of Adams' partner Carlton Bass (ex-Hercules Kevin Sorbo), turned into a major suspect, especially since he had a very large gun as well as other motives. This caused Kono a lot of turmoil, so much so that she got told by Danno that she had "constipation face." In another one of those don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it resolutions, it turned out that (a) Carlton Bass's driver, Randall Barrett (Walter S. Gaines) was responsible for Adams getting shot, even though there is no suggestion that he would be specially qualified to hit his target from a tremendous distance away on top of a hill behind the contest and (b) Ben Bass, who was totally estranged from his father Carlton, was actually the son of Adams, who was going to change his will so Ben would become his sole beneficiary. This was the most "Hawaiian" show yet, aside from the surfing contest at the beginning. There was also the tent city where Ben lived with a lot of other people, many of whom were not poor, the final farewell to Adams by his surfing colleagues, and the interaction with the kapu boss Ka Wika (Kala Alexander) and two former kapu thugs, Diego Stone (George Allen Gumapac) and Levi Park (Tanoai Reed). Danno's banter with McGarrett semmed relatively restrained compared with previous shows. One thing that continued to bug me -- the dialogue was still incomprehensible at times, especially on the lowest-fi version I was watching (the high resolution/Dolby Digital one was much better). I still don't know what exact words Chin Ho was using when he described Adams' job near the beginning of the show.

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7. Ho'apono (Accept)
Original air date: 11/01/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
One of the guest stars (of several) in this episode was Robert Loggia, who appeared in the original show's eleventh season episode The Execution File. There he played an ex-cop with a troubled past on a crusade to rescue young girls from prostitution and knock off their pimps. Loggia was not the first star from the old series to appear in the new one, however. That honor went to Helen Kuoha-Torco, who appeared as the dancer in the main titles of all 278 episodes. Her face was seen only in the pilot episode, Cocoon. In the new show, she appeared as the mother who took Danno's daughter into the washroom in the third show, Malama Ka Aina, while he engaged in a shootout on the football field with gang members. In this show, Loggia plays Ed McKay, a grizzled veteran who shows tourists around the U.S.S. Missouri. At the beginning of the show, I thought Loggia's character didn't seem particularly enthusiastic about his job as tour guide, but then I figured he is old and probably has to do the same speech every day. Some of the tourists he is escorting end up as hostages taken by Navy SEAL (just like McGarrett!) Graham Wilson (Adam Beach), who shortly before found his wife murdered at his house nearby, escaped to the battleship and is being sought by the police as a suspect. (Among this group is Louis Lombardi, well-known for playing computer geek Edgar on "24," who died a horrible death by poison gas in that show. His character, identified only as "Buddy," ends up getting bashed in the head by Wilson.) McKay manages to elude Wilson, and after McGarrett makes his way to the ship, swimming underwater and climbing up the side, McKay runs into McGarrett and helps him find his way around. It's cute the way that McKay, who knows all the ins and outs of the ship, keeps tagging along with McGarrett as a sidekick and popping up unexpectedly, sort of like some troll in a Wagnerian opera. He provides the episode's big LOL moment when McGarrett lets him come along to find Wilson, but McGarrett says that if he tells McKay to jump, he wants him to jump. McKay responds by saluting, saying "Yes, sir!" Beach gives a very good performance as the twitchy Wilson, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, as does Loggia. And the scenes on the Missouri are filmed creatively and effectively. Unfortunately, the show is totally sabotaged by the musical underscore, which is even worse than normal. In fact, I think there are only about 40 seconds of the show with no music at all (the scene just before Danno finds Wilson's wife's Russian diary at Wilson's house). The music got so distracting at times that I couldn't even concentrate on the show. Terrible, terrible, terrible. As well, the herky-jerky swooping camera is more in evidence than normal, along with the unrealistically colored photography of Honolulu from the air, and there is more incomprehensible dialogue (unless you are listening in Dolby Digital 5.1, where it is easier to understand).

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8. Mana'o (Belief)
Original air date: 11/08/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
An above-average show, mostly because of Scott Caan's performance as Danno where he deals with the death of his former partner Mekka Hanamoa who is found with his badge stuffed in his mouth, roasting in a luau. There were a couple of really dumb things about the show, though. One was the obligatory "extreme interrogation technique." This time McGarrett and Danno tie Bastille, a doped-out art dealer (played by Bronson Pinchot) to the hood of Danno's Camaro and drive him around Honolulu at high speeds to loosen his tongue regarding a lead connected to the case. This was stupid. Do the police and people seeing this just look the other way and say, "Oh, it's just Five-0"? It would make more sense to do this on one of the middle-of-nowhere roads (like on Mount Tantalus), with the car screeching around corners and almost flinging the guy off the hood over cliffs, etc., but that would be kind of boring in the middle of the night, I guess. The other dumb thing had to do with Sang Min (Will Yun Lee), the people smuggler from the pilot episode. This guy, now in Halawa Correctional Institute for a very, very long time, did not crack after being earlier grilled for 72 hours and being offered plea bargains according to Danno, so why should he rat out the mole in HPD, even after Danno's heart-felt plea that his former partner's wife and son will be forced into poverty because they won't be getting the suspected-of-corruption Mekka's pension? This is the second time a hardened criminal co-operates with the cops, and I feel like yelling to the writers in a Danno/Scott Caan voice: "THIS IS NOT THE WAY THINGS ARE DONE!" Come on, guys. Crooks who are in jail for very serious crimes do NOT CO-OPERATE WITH COPS. Doing so will totally stigmatize them with their fellow inmates, and probably get them killed -- HELLO! Even Sang Min getting an offer of Danno chauffeuring him to the beach where he can view his wife and son playing isn't going to sway him. When this happens, he tells Danno with a tear in his eye, "I've caused my wife and son enough pain." Oprah indeed! The "H" word gets overused in this episode. First, when Mekka's wife comes to Danno for help and she tells him that her husband said he was "the best person he ever had" as a partner, Danno replies, "For a haole." Then Detective Kaleo (Jason Scott Lee) gives Danno a bunch of mouth when he and McGarrett start to stir up trouble in the HPD detectives' room, saying "You got issues, haole? Take it up with Internal Affairs." At the end, when cornered as the reason Danno's partner got killed, Kaleo tells Danno, "Get out of my face, haole." I wonder how HPD feels about this portrayal of one of their members with a huge chip on his shoulder speaking in such an "unprofessional" manner? The photography for the show was better than average, despite the yellow tinge at the golf driving range. The process shots when Danno and McGarrett are driving are becoming more laughable, especially when the driver (Danno in this case) takes his eyes off the road again for far too long. I was really surprised the first time I watched this show because I wasn't bothered as much by the music as normal. Maybe because it was eminently forgettable? (I did notice it more the second time, though.)

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9. Po'ipu (The Siege)
Original air date: 11/15/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits

The writing in this show was very bad, highly reminiscent of some of the all-time turkeys in the old series like Dear Enemy, Let Death Do Us Part and When Does A War End?

The teaser began promisingly with a gorgeous woman (Emmanuelle Vaugier) seducing David Atwater (Matt Corboy), who is having a drink at a hotel bar by himself. Atwater is a diplomatic service agent assigned to the advance team for General Pak, an evil dictator from "Sandimar" coming to an aid conference of world leaders in Honolulu. The woman is Erica Raines, an assassin who formerly worked for the CIA but since has gone "rogue." I guess Atwater is either really lonely or really stupid or really horny (though Raines does slip something -- which the clever McGarrett later diagnoses as an aphrodisiac -- into his drink when he "just conveniently" turns away to look at the ocean view). Atwater was obviously never taught at diplomatic service agent school that someone might try and compromise him in such a manner. As soon as I saw Raines making him take her back to his hotel room, I thought, "Every move they make will be recorded by the security cameras in the hotel hallways, elevator, etc." ... which they are! But Raines positions herself in such a way that she is never seen full-frontal. BUT ... Chin Ho is later able to take side views of her and reconstruct her face anyway. So I guess she's not so smart after all. Anyway, Raines garrotes Atwater because he was gonna spill the beans about an assassination plot on General Pak (which he was connected with and wanted to "come clean" about).

After the opening credits, Five-0 is on the scene and once again, the Governor ain't there. Maybe she had to go and dedicate a shopping center or open up an extension for the freeway or something. Her place is taken again by her assistant Laura Hills (Kelly Hu). As before, Hu is very read-the-phone-book attractive, but I wish the hairdressers would have kept the pony tail look from the USS Missouri episode, which was much hotter. In addition to Hills, there is Tom Matthews (Michael Adamshick) a security big shot from the conference who has been assigned to the General's advance team. Danno, who obviously forgot to take his Midol, starts asking questions about how Matthews found out about Atwater's death, but Matthews tells Danno to shut the f**k up and not tell him how to do his job. Danno's reaction (he shuts the f**k up) is very surprising considering what comes shortly after.

We are then introduced to Nick Taylor (Max Martini), who was hired after "last night's security breach" to "beef up [the General's] security team" (very quickly, it seems). Taylor is none other than a Navy SEAL buddy of McGarrett's who served under him for three years in Afghanistan and is now a security consultant in the private sector. The two of them give each other the secret SEAL handshake, knocking their knuckles together and yukking it up. However, Danno, who has progressed from slight cramping to a full blown sand-in-your-vagina type yeast infection starts to give Taylor (who he later describes as a "cheeseball") a bunch of mouth in the usual fashion reserved for McGarrett, ridiculing the Navy SEAL lingo that Taylor and McGarrett are using and referring to Taylor as an "animal" (as opposed to a "cop" like Danno), suggesting that Taylor is sleazy for getting involved with the General who has a history of "ethnic cleansing." This whole exchange verged on embarrassing. All McGarrett can say later is, "Are you jealous?" The normal reaction from someone in this case would be to take Danno aside and tell him to shut the f**k up (again) and/or punch him in the mouth.

Five-0's assignment from Hills (if they choose to accept it, which of course they do) is to "find Atwater's killer and protect General Pak and his family when they arrive."

The obligatory driving scene with McGarrett and Danno follows, with the two of them arguing in a pointless way over a postcard of New Jersey which Danno keeps in the visor of his car. Again, the projected backgrounds are bad. They are highly reminiscent of those in one episode of O'Loughlin's show Moonlight which I saw, where (I think) they were done in a purposely phony way designed to suggest a film noir kind of ambience.

In the Five-0 office, Chin Ho comes up with his magically reconstructed picture of Raines, which McGarrett wants circulated to "HPD, NCIC, FBI, Interpol and airport and marine security." The usual red herrings follow when they track down Raines to a house where she murdered the owner and stuffed her in a freezer. "Awww" moment number one: the woman's daughter phones her mother from the airport saying she has just returned to Hawaii. (Note the TAS 3000 answering machine, a vintage piece of electronics made by Sanyo.) Then Five-0 gets a lead on Nae Shan (Nelson Lee), a former member of General Pak's army who has been seen at demonstrations and is a known troublemaker. "Awww" moment number two: After his capture, and in front of his extended family in his home, Shan tells McGarrett and Kono, almost bringing the latter to tears, how the "monster" General Pak made life a living hell for him and his relatives.

Having identified Raines from some top-secret CIA information which only Taylor can access (since he also worked for the military arm of CIA -- convenient!), Five-0 track her down to the Aloha Tower area where a gun battle ensues amidst scattering tourists. A sad moment follows when Raines gets run over by a "Waikiki Mover" bus (a bogus company, I think) -- what a sneaky way to introduce more "local color." The topography of this scene is screwy, though. Raines turns around to shoot at Five-0, and seems to get hit on her right side ... but when you see her standing in the street, there is no bus behind her. After she gets hit, isn't there a driver in the bus? You would expect this guy to come out and look at the woman, even though there are Five-0 cops approaching, wearing bulletproof vests and carrying guns. (Note to producers: PLEASE, PLEASE bring Emmanuelle Vaugier back ... like maybe her evil assassin twin sister. (See original series episode #130, A Bullet for El Diablo for some ideas.) I promise I will not say anything, no matter how ludicrous the explanation for her reappearance is.)

General Pak finally arrives at Hickam Air Force Base with his wife and young son. The General is played Ric Young -- who appeared in the original series under the name of Eric Young as a travel agent in Nine Dragons (thanks to Ed from Honolulu for pointing this out). McGarrett doesn't even bother to say hello to him, a marked contrast from Leopard on the Rock, a show from the earlier series where an equally evil dictator arrived in Hawaii and engaged in some lively verbal sparring with McGarrett. I totally don't understand why Pak arrives on this massive USAF plane (he and his family are seemingly the only passengers, unless they are just hitching a ride with a bunch of freight). Wouldn't it make more sense if they arrived on Sandimar Air Lines?

After the entourage with Five-0, Taylor and his men and Pak and his family drive away from Hickam, Kono is suddenly alerted via a phone call that Raines was in contact with Taylor, meaning, in four words or less, something is very fishy. McGarrett commandeers the car he is in (which contains the General and family). Taylor pushes a button on some fancy smartphone app which causes the first car in the procession to blow up in spectacular fashion. But what is the point of this? There is no one of any importance in this SUV! A terrific firefight follows after which everyone escapes to McGarrett's house at 2727 Piikoi Street nearby. This leads to "Awww" moments number three and four. First, Chin Ho talks to the General's son about how he (Chin) is also scared and how brave the boy is. Then the General, who has said virtually nothing up to this point, tells everyone that he is seeking political asylum in the United States and is going to testify against the military junta in his country and confess his sins to the world, blah blah blah. (That's why Atwater -- remember him? -- got knocked off, because he got word of the General's change of heart.)

This "Awww" moment is REALLY, REALLY STUPID and is why this episode gets only one and a half stars -- because the entire episode revolves around this one dumb concept. Just like hardened criminals do not co-operate with the cops (see episodes #4 and #8), evil dictators do not suddenly get all touchy-feely about all the people they have caused to be tortured, oppressed, raped and murdered! That is why they are called "evil dictators"! This episode would have been so much better if Pak had been the son of an evil dictator who recently succeeded his father and who had qualms about what his father had done (torturing, oppressing, raping, murdering). Then the angle of asking for political asylum would have made sense -- maybe.

McGarrett then phones HPD, and after an eternity, cops show up, but it is really Taylor and his security team who have been paid $5 million to knock off the General. It seems that Taylor cloned McGarrett's phone so that when McGarrett told HPD where the action was going down, Taylor knew exactly where to find everyone. Where Taylor and his team got the HPD cop cars from, who knows? By the time they arrive, it is night time, which allows McGarrett and Taylor to use their fancy night time goggles and also conveniently masks a lot of the action so it really doesn't matter what happens as long as Five-0 (and specifically McGarrett) win in the end -- which of course they do. Despite the fact that Taylor's team are supposedly professional sharpshooters, assassins, killers, etc., they can't knock off any of the people inside McGarrett's house, though they certainly make a mess of the place and destroy several priceless childhood photos hanging on the wall inside.

The show ends with "Awww" moment number 5: just before the General and his family jump on the large USAF plane again which will take them to the World Court or some such place, the General thanks McGarrett. The ending with McGarrett and Danno has a Streets of San Francisco suckiness. Terrible!

The music was unusually bad in this episode, having improved somewhat the week before. On the other hand, the photography was pretty good -- the colors for some of the aerial Honolulu vistas looked almost normal. It's a tradeup between the these two things from week to week, it seems.

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10. Hei Hei (The Race) a.k.a. Hao Kanaka (Iron Man)
Original air date: 11/22/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits

After watching this episode, I figured out why Five-0 is the most DVRd show of all time. It's because no one can understand the first viewing, so they have to watch it again ... and again ... to figure out what the hell is going on. I had a big problem in this regard, especially at the beginning of this show. A bunch of crooks knock off a couple of armored car guards and steal their truck, and when Five-0 is on the scene after the main titles, McGarrett barks orders and Kono says something, neither of which I understood the first time around. The second time it was much clearer, and overall the show made more sense the second time, though there was one big fatal flaw, similar to that of the previous week's show about the evil dictator General Pak having a change of heart about all the people whose lives he had made miserable. But more about that later.

The armored car company is Aeko Kula (Golden Eagle) -- there is actually an air cargo company in Honolulu by this name. The crooks rappel down from a nearby building in white jumpsuits, hats and dust masks (though one wonders why this is necessary), looking just like a bunch of guys they have hired to be painters who are standing nearby to confuse witnesses. Five-0 has a fancy phone app which shows where the GPS-like device in the stolen money bags is located, which turns out to be the bottom of the harbor off Honolulu's Pier 20. Rather than wait for a crew of professional divers to help them (since we have only 42 minutes of airtime for the show), McGarrett and Kono go swimming to recover the money bags, though you would suspect that the truck is fairly far down at the bottom and it wouldn't be a simple task to open up the truck and find what is inside without SCUBA gear. At this point we get yet more obnoxious product placement for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, using an LG phone. Later at the office, Chin Ho spends time examining the innards of an airplane-like black box from the armored car which shows various external camera views taken during the car's route.

McGarrett and Danno go to the Hawaii Medical Center to talk to Jordan Townsend (Colin Egglesfield), the sole guard who survived the robbery. Danno, in the first of several "Awww" moments in this show, is very sympathetic to Townsend's pregnant wife Camille (Bijou Phillips), telling her "We're really sorry what happened to your husband." Considering Danno described the fresh-faced Jordan to McGarrett earlier as looking like he was "12 years old," it is surprising that Danno doesn't go off on a rant to the guy's wife about what a dumb move it was to take such a dangerous job.

Using facial recognition software, Kono figures out one of the jumpsuit-clad painters near the crime scene is Gordon Smith, played by rapper Nasir "Nas" Jones. But this is just a Five-0 red herring, since Smith was there because of an ad in "Gavinslist" (presumably Craigslist couldn't pay up enough for a corporate sponsorship plug). Kono also traces bullets used in the robbery to guns used in a Waikiki bank heist and links this to several similar bank heists on the mainland in Boulder, San Diego and Austin -- all cities that host a triathlon, just like the Kono Crater Classic Triathlon that Honolulu is holding the next day.

McGarrett and Danno return to the hospital to talk to Townsend again, but one of the clever crooks manages to sneak into his room as a doctor and mess him up, almost killing him. McGarrett is quick to spot the doctor, who heads up several floors in an elevator, then vanishes through the elevator's ceiling and shimmies up the elevator cable to -- where? I don't think so!

The IP address used for the Gavinslist ad is traced to a chiropractor's office, but when Five-0 arrives there, the doctor is found to be out of town for three weeks, and a bunch of blood used for doping is found in the doctor's fridge. Doping, according to the clever McGarrett, is a technique which "increases your red cel count, allowing your muscles to work harder for up to 12 hours" and is also used by Navy SEAL types -- this is all based in reality, by the way. When Kono describes this as "all-natural steroids," Danno says, "Yeah, for vampires" (likely a dig at O'Loughlin's previous show Moonlight, where he played a vampire detective).

A fingerprint on one of the blood bags leads McGarrett and Danno to Kai Rollins (Edwin H. Bravo) and the obligatory torture-while-interrogating-accompanied-by-mindless-banter scene follows with the twosome loading weights onto Rollins' barbells while he exercises outdoors. Rollins cracks and reveals the name of a woman, Sabrina Kai, who it turns out is one of the crooks participating in the triathlon the next day.

Up to this point, everything sort of makes sense. But the plot goes totally awry when it turns out this woman Sabrina, along with the other bad guys, lives next door ... TO DANNO'S EX-WIFE! Just think, there are over 900,000 people on Oahu, and these sophisticated criminals, who are the central focus of this episode, live where? How else could the writers have introduced the character of Danno's wife in the show, you ask? Well, their daughter could have been kidnapped (the possibility for this happening during a future show still exists), except in an upcoming episode McGarrett's sister (who has vanished off the face of the earth after a couple of brief appearances previously) is going to be kidnapped, so that plot device has already been taken.

Anyway, despite plenty of "Awww" moments between Danno and his ex-wife Rachel (Claire van der Boom, who does a good job despite a not-particularly-convincing backstory as to how she met Danno and little mention of her new spouse, who is conveniently out of town) things rapidly go downhill from this point as the triathlon super-athletes break into a diamond exchange during the race (shades of Ten Thousand Diamonds and a Heart, except in this episode, there is no one working there when the crooks are on the job) and are then captured by four different Five-0 methods.

The episode ends with more "Awww" moments, not only with Townsend (who recovers) and his wife, but between Danno and his daughter, who gives him a card which says "I love you Dano [sic]." And then there is the final shot as McGarrett and Danno leave Rachel's house, straight out of English 100, where the view of the place is in the mirror of the car, which says "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear."

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11. Palekaiko (Paradise)
Original air date: 12/6/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
The first three-quarters of this episode is very good, especially the teaser, which takes place in "Kahana State Park" (actually known as Ahupua'a O Kahana State Park, correctly identified as being 26 miles from Honolulu). It features some local guys hunting boar (a flashback to "Lost"), has cool music including some indigenous chant-like sounds, and the photography looks totally natural.

Following this we get McGarrett and Chin Ho spear fishing, which leads to some "Awww" memories of McGarrett's father. Considering how serious McGarrett normally is, it is unnerving to see him cracking a big smile (similar to Jack Lord's McGarrett). And then we (finally) get some more clues as to what happened to McGarrett's family. Back at McGarrett's place, Chin Ho is shown several items in the Champion spark plug toolbox including postcards from Japan from deceased yakuza (Japanese Mafia) lieutenants, a key like a furniture key, and a case number -- M123750 -- which Chin recognizes as from the pre-computer days at HPD which he will check out.

Then it is back to work, with Five-0 summoned to the Hawaii Medical Center to deal with Erica Harris (Peyton List), a woman found by the boar hunters who has no recollection of being abducted from her Akahai Hotel honeymoon suite and whose husband Jake is missing. McGarrett shows his compassionate side listening to the woman's story. The woman's mother-in-law, Nancy Harris (Sheila Kelley), who has arrived from the mainland and is described by Erica as "toxic" (though not to the extent of some mothers/mother-in-laws on the old series) believes Erica is not a victim, but a golddigger, especially after Erica ran up over $100,000 of debt before meeting her son. As well, Danno is suspicious of Erica's "trauma-induced amnesia." After the first commercial break which follows, before the scene cuts back to the hospital, there are some totally unnecessary location shots with loud, crappy music. We already know we are in Hawaii (Hawaii Medical Center -- HELLO!).

Chin Ho and Kono investigate the couple's honeymoon suite which costs $5500 a night, Erica's husband Jake being a high-priced lawyer. The clever Chin Ho determines that someone pumped acetone gas into this room from the adjacent suite, knocking out both Erica and Jake, and shortly after, Kono discovers Jake in the adjacent suite, dead. While sleuthing, Chin and Kono engage in some family banter, including hints about Chin's soon-to-be-introduced former girl friend who didn't support him when he needed her most after he was suspected of corruption at HPD.

Meanwhile, McGarrett and Danno check out room #106 at the Pagoda Hotel which was called numerous times from Erica's cel phone. She has no memory of making these calls, claiming her husband borrowed the phone. After McGarrett kicks down the door, with Danno calling him a "Neanderthal animal," they snoop around the room, and then encounter Kurt Miller (Joel Tobeck), a private investigator from Jake's law firm who was tracking the pair at the request of Jake's mother. When Miller tells McGarrett to book him, McGarrett looks at Danno, who says "Do not say it!" But Miller suddenly starts to talk when he finds out Jake is dead, saying that in his opinion, Erica was not a golddigger. This scene in Miller's room was notable for the fact that for TWENTY-FIVE SECONDS, THERE WAS NO MUSIC! Following this, McGarrett gets to hug Erica when he tells her, under some palm trees with a peculiar yellow/reddish tinge, that her husband is dead. Obviously oblivious to the fact that he is Alex O'Loughlin, she tries to resist him.

McGarrett and Danno have the obligatory driving scene with the usual phony-looking process shots behind them. This time there is some "Awww" banter with Danno telling about the first time he had to relay bad news to a victim's family, and McGarrett recalling when he was told his mother was killed (on April 19, 1992) by a drunk driver. The scene ends with them having a dumb argument over McGarrett wanting to play the song "Sexy Eyes" on the car radio. Danno starts yelling to McGarrett, "I know that you have trained to endure torture ... songs this bad make stable people want to kill other people" -- something that could be said of much of the new Five-0's music from day one.

Chin and Kono visit Max Bergman (Masi Oka), the wacky Honolulu medical examiner as he is tuning his piano (continuing the torture theme, Kono says it "sounds like he's torturing a walrus"). Bergman's second appearance is considerably less wacky than his first, and he provides some major clues based on his involvement with an "online community" dealing with "unsolved homicides" that lead Five-0 to suspect a serial killer is on the loose.

After Erica's abandoned rental car is located, McGarrett and Danno figure out very quickly the location of the secret hideout in Kahana Park that was used by the killer when he abducted Erica. A vial of morphine in this hideout is traced to the medical officer on a cruise ship, and putting two and two together with Bergman's ideas, Five-0 figures that the killer targets honeymooning couples who are taking cruises in the South Seas. The all-purpose Five-0 supercomputer, using some photos taken by the P.I. Miller and run through facial recognition software, figures out that the killer is Bradford Matinsky, a systems analyst for an mainland engineering firm (i.e., computer geek) whose girl friend dumped him before they could get married, therefore he wants revenge on other women who just got hitched.

Matinsky is tracked down to a cruise ship just pulling into the dock in Kauai. McGarrett and Danno almost nab him, but he jumps off the ship into the harbor, perhaps having taken a course at the Victor Hesse School of Escaping Five-0. This point, about 30 minutes into the show, is where things start to get stupid. No one sees Matinsky jumping into the water, and later he is nowhere to be found. Rather than hide out, he tries to nab yet another honeymooning couple. Considering his belongings (clothes, suitcase, attaché case, etc.) were all on the cruise ship, where does he get things like a towel to dry off, not to mention all the paperwork connected with the people he was stalking via the Internet which were in his cabin? (If you think about it hard, there are other questions relating to Matinsky, such as how does he find secret hideouts like the one in Kahana Park where he kept Erica captive?)

The nerdy Matinsky knocks out another honeymooning husband and kidnaps his wife from their hotel, which leads to a fast and frantic chase with McGarrett following on a twisting road. On top of some high cliffs (actually the Pali on Oahu) where Matinsky holds the wife with a knife to her throat, McGarrett and Danno engage in ridiculous good cop/bad cop banter (Danno: "I've been trained for this sort of thing [negotiating]." McGarrett: "What, to bore people into submission?"). Matinsky gets shot and plunges to his death. Danno gets to hug the wife.

Back at the Five-0 office, McGarrett is again in his compassionate mode as he helps the mother-in-law reconcile with Erica. Then Chin Ho drops a bombshell: after checking out some information at HPD related to what was in the toolbox, he tells McGarrett that his mother was not the victim of an accident, but a homicide.

As usual, the music in this episode was up and down. There were a few moments where it was almost OK, but these were ruined by the annoying non-stop droning in the background most of the time.

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12. Hana 'a'a Makehewa (Desperate Measures)
Original air date: 12/13/10 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
For sheer intensity, forward momentum and good acting, this was the best episode yet. However, there were lots of the usual "don't think about it too hard" moments.

This is the first episode where there is a teaser-like opening which the show later revisits (though not exactly with the same camera angles and dialogue). As well, there are two flashbacks to the pilot episode when bad guy Victor Hesse murdered McGarrett's father and when McGarrett shot Hesse at the climax of that show.

Of course, Hesse is still alive. The Process-like trail which leads to this discovery is interesting, and is marked by a relative absence of snappy/stupid McGarrett/Danno banter and shots of the two of them driving with projected backgrounds. Alas, the photography still has the usual weird tinge and the in-your-face music is mostly clichéd tracks.

Chin Ho ends up with a bomb activated by a mercury motion sensor around his neck after trying to go after Hesse on his own when the criminal mastermind flees McGarrett and hides out on a boat at the "Ala Moana Harbor." Why Chin took on this task on his own without waiting for major backup doesn't make any sense. Hesse escaped from McGarrett because, once again, Five-0 enlisted the services of Sang Min, the human trafficker from the pilot, to track Hesse down via an acquaintance, Kishimoto, "facilitiator for the Japanese underground in Honolulu." Rather than take Sang Min back to Halawa Correctional Facility after getting the information about Hesse's whereabouts, they take Sang Min along while they investigate some hostess bar where Hesse inexplicably hangs out. Hesse leaves the building quickly with McGarrett in pursuit and just happens to jump into Danno's car and is driven away by Sang Min who has removed the handcuffs holding him to the steering wheel via some pin-like metal object he has kept in his mouth all the time, jump-started the car and conveniently positioned it by the door where he knew Hesse was going to come out (puh-leeze!).

After strapping the bomb to Chin and dumping him near the Five-0 offices, Hesse contacts McGarrett via a cel phone in Chin's pocket, telling McGarrett that he wants the usual money ($10 million) and "safe passage off the island." But the Governor refuses to cough up the money, similar to the Governor in the original series "The Young Assassins," with the stock line "we don't negotiate with terrorists". McGarrett is desperate. But who just happens to know where there is $10 million lying around. Well, none other than Chin Ho himself (and his cousin Kono, who he told). There is $28 million lying around in an HPD "asset forfeiture locker" (not the normal such locker, mind you) which was connected to an old case of Chin's. After $200,000 of this money mysteriously disappeared years before, suspicion felt on Chin and was responsible for him leaving the force. In order to get into this locker, McGarrett has to get cover-your-ass blueprints for the building including which Chin was keeping under the floorboards in his house "to protect someone," hire a utilities truck, get utilities maintenance worker outfits and break into the locker via a tunnel underneath it which was constructed by the U.S. Army Engineers during World War II (puh-leeze again!).

With the money in hand, McGarrett goes to the middle of nowhere to meet Hesse, and Kono jumps out of the car before this meeting and positions herself on a nearby hill with a high-powered rifle which she uses to put Hesse out of commission. (But is Hesse so stupid that he wouldn't get his pal Sang Min to keep his eyes out from another nearby hill for such an eventuality? Come on!) The big confrontation between McGarrett and Hesse is hardly the kung fu fightin' match from the pilot, and Hesse takes the $10 million and throws it in a nearby fire, a move which is going to come back to bite McGarett on the ass big time later.

There are some nice "Awww" moments which follow with the Five-0 team celebrating Christmas and Danno playing Santa for his daughter Grace (a family tradition). This is nicely counterpointed with a not-so-merry-Christmas for Hesse, now in Halawa, where he has to answer to a visitor, Wo Fat. But isn't Wo Fat like "a known international criminal"? How could he get into the place without identifying himself? Hesse actually calls him by name -- again, as a guard is standing right behind Hesse!

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13. Ke Kinohi (The Beginning)
Original air date: 01/03/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
Finally -- a total kick-ass episode, with McGarrett taking on multiple villains, including the boss of the local yakuza, Hiro Noshimuri (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), Hiro's brother Koji (William Maeda), the man who was responsible for McGarrett's mother getting blown up in the family car years before (the intended victim was McGarrett's father), as well as a gang of bosozoku, low-level yakuza punk enforcers, and almost Wo Fat himself!

Tagawa, playing a local industrialist big shot who is chummy with the Governor, is unbelievably slimy -- one of the most sinister villains in the history of Five-O, old and new. This guy gave me the creeps, making me feel like fast-forwarding to the next scene, since I didn't want to see what was going to happen between him and our boy. But McGarrett did not back down when dealing with him. The show also brought back Al Harrington, Ben from the original series, as Mamo Kahike, owner of a surf rental place, who knew McGarrett and his family years before. Chin Ho did his usual geeky number, supplying expository information and extracting cel phone data; Kono got to take charge of the investigation at the Pipeline Club, hangout for the yakuza punks.

As seen in a previous show, McGarrett's sister Mary Ann was snooping in their father's Champion sparkplug tool box. Later, she was trying to get answers about what happened to her mother from HPD. Unfortunately, this just got her in hot water, because at the beginning of this show, thugs break into McGarrett's place, steal the box and taser him, then kidnap Mary Ann from her beachfront house, leading to a dramatic helicopter rescue with McGarrett and Danno following a car where she is locked in the trunk. I didn't understand how Mary Ann could be talking to McGarrett on her cel phone from inside the trunk -- wouldn't the two goons driving the car have taken it from her? Even if they were too dumb not to, wouldn't they have heard her talking (after all, she is just behind the rear seat) and also heard the noise when she kicked out the back turn signal so she could get an idea where she was and relay that information back to her brother? Is it even possible to easily kick out the turn signal on this model of car?

There was the usual banter between McGarrett and Danno in this episode, but instead of just revealing Danno to be an annoying individual, it actually advanced the plot. The photography in the teaser had a couple of cool moments, with a shot of McGarrett at an odd angle, and especially when the tool box was dragged past the unconscious McGarrett lying on the floor. Now if only those background process shots while McGarrett and Danno are driving could be in focus...

The music was less objectionable than normal, though I don't know if that was because the action on screen was so overwhelming, or because Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready reportedly had something to do with it. The script was a first time Five-0 effort by Nicole Ranadive, who was involved with "24" for almost 100 episodes as either script co-ordinator, script supervisor or writer, including the entire fourth season which Five-0 executive producer Peter Lenkov co-executive produced. (Lenkov wrote the story for this Five-0 episode.) Let's hope it won't be her last.

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14. He Kane Hewa'ole (An Innocent Man)
Original air date: 01/17/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
Kono and Chin are driving with the usual annoying projected backdrops in the middle of nowhere, engaging in cousin/cousine chit-chat, when suddenly there is a radio call about a police pursuit. Despite the fact that they are Five-0, not HPD, they join the chase.

After the pursued car (a Ford Mustang) flips over (another slap at Ford, the old show's sponsor), the driver is near death, and a box which was in the car reveals a man's head. What follows is an interesting "process" show.

Max Bergman, the medical examiner, who is acting pretty normal, manages to figure out where Han Chi (Ky Vuong), the now-deceased driver of the car, lived, based on the the hydrogen/oxygen content of his hair, which seems very iffy. Using this information, McGarrett and Danno trace him to a garage where they meet Mr. Chi (Tzi Ma), the man's father as well as his young son Ming Hua (Derrick Djou), whose name was the last thing Han uttered before he expired. McGarrett tells Mr. Chi that he thinks Han was innocent, and they intend to prove this (shades of the old show).

This leads to some annoying Danno/McGarrett banter while driving, which goes on far too long, about how McGarrett is a "softie" because a "father" is involved in a case. During this sequence they are seen driving on a road along the beach and the projected backdrop behind them does not reflect this (it should have shown the ocean).

When he sees his son's body at the morgue, Mr. Chi says someone offered his son $1000 to do a delivery job. Chin Ho has recovered information from the destroyed car's GPS which says it was going to 11878 Keawe Street. As well, the severed head shows signs of lead and iodine 131, which leads Chin and Kono to the Hawaii Medical Center to see if the victim was being treated for cancer.

At the hospital, Chin runs into his ex-fiancée Malia (Reiko Aylesworth), who is still wearing his ring as a necklace. Malia identifies the man as Henry Duncan, a high school teacher. When she sees Kono, Malia moves as if she wants to hug her, but Kono, who is pissed about the way the relationship ended, totally blows her off.

When McGarrett and Danno go to Duncan's house, they find signs of a struggle and blood spatter on the walls. The phone is off the hook, and McGarrett listens to both the last incoming and outgoing calls, which Danno recognizes as an office of an investment counsellor at the address on Keawe Street from the GPS. This turns out to be Duncan's father-in-law Robert Rovin (Greg Germann), who is very concerned about the whereabouts of his daughter Nicole (Amanda Schull) who didn't show up for work that day.

Rovin seems to be in a big hurry to go somewhere, carrying a couple of large suitcases, and McGarrett and Danno follow him to the docks where he meets up with Spenser Owens (Jordan Belfi), the owner of the rental car driven and supposedly stolen by Han Chi and who was previously interviewed by Kono after the accident. Owens is shot dead when he pulls a gun on Danno, who does a spectacular somersault getting out of a moving car, similar to the one also performed by Danno in the eighth season show of the original series Death's Name is SAM.

When Rovin fears that his daughter will be killed by Owens' associates, who had demanded $5 million in payment to release the supposedly kidnapped Nicole, McGarrett and Danno go to Owens' house, where they speculate that he was having an affair with Nicole, and the two lovers were planning to flee to France (which has no extradition treaty with the United States). The two of them murdered Duncan, cut off his head and paid Han Chi to take the head to Rovin to convince him to pay the random. McGarrett and Danno confront Nicole at the airport where she is waiting for Owens to show up.

The show closes with McGarrett returning to Mr. Chi to give him a letter from the Governor expediting his becoming an American citizen (he and his family were all in the country illegally). In return, Mr. Chi gives McGarrett a part for the Mercury Marquis, which, along with an ongoing discussion between McGarrett and Danno about the show CHIPS, has been a background theme throughout the show.

I liked this show because it was pretty logical, but, because of the 42 minute time limit, the villains didn't strike me as particularly evil (and cutting someone's head off with a saw is pretty evil). The blonde Nicole was very hot, more of a spoiled bitch, and her boyfriend Owens was not particularly "bad" either.

The scene at the end where McGarrett confronted Nicole was silly. I kept saying, "Why doesn't she ask for a lawyer?" McGarrett's blanket immunity does not apply to overriding people's basic legal rights, which McGarrett didn't bother reading to her. Predictably, Nicole blabbed away about how she couldn't get the $5 million from her father to finance the trip to France for her and Spenser if her husband was still alive. A good lawyer could probably make mincemeat of the way Five-0 treated her.

The color photography in this show was very unnatural looking at times, and the music with its usual rip-offs of Bourne and Lost music was awful.

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15. Kaie'e (Tidal Wave)
Original air date: 01/23/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits

This tsunami episode, which had more than a few similarities to Forty Feet High and It Kills (season two) and Tsunami (season ten) from the old show, was far too fast-paced and there were lots of logistical and topographic questions. For example, why are people shown stocking up on food when time is of the essence to get out of town? Is this in downtown Honolulu, where the people are supposed to be evacuating? How long would it really take people to evacuate everyone from downtown Honolulu, anyway? (This question could be asked of the two old shows as well.)

Another question: McGarrett's girl friend Catherine is shown on her aircraft carrier within an hour/hour and a half of getting the word about the tsunami when she is at McGarrett's house "fooling around." She is all ready to go, providing him with critical GPS-related info and other highly classified data which would probably get her canned big time. But this aircraft carrier seems to be in the middle of the ocean somewhere. How did she get there? Did she get ferried there by helicopter? Is she that important that she would get this kind of treatment?

I thought it was pretty funny the way people from previous shows like Mamo (Al Harrington) and Duke (Dennis Chun, son of Kam Fong, the original Chin Ho) suddenly appeared out of nowhere in what were like cameos, especially Duke! Of all the cops in Honolulu, he shows up at the exact time at a critical scene. Also, Danno's daughter Grace and Kamekona were featured and Chin's girl friend Malia was mentioned.

As in the old show Tsunami, the gimmick is the tidal wave is totally bogus, designed to cover up a major crime, specifically the theft of $28 million from the Chin Ho-related police evidence locker, $10 million of which was "expropriated" by McGarrett and company a couple of episodes before to save Chin's life and which got burned up by McGarrett's arch-enemy Victor Hesse.

The bad guy in this new show is Coast Guard Commander Sam Hale (Brian Goodman), who feels he is owed this money because he got jerked around years before during a combined HPD/Coast Guard drug operation. It is highly unrealistic that Hale, a relatively insignificant character, had the time to go to the evidence locker, take the money (all $28 million of which surprisingly exists, as revealed at the end of the show), stuff it into sandbags, and haul the sandbags up to the front of the building. How did Hale know exactly where the evidence locker was located? Also, how many of these sandbags had money in them? Just one? If it was only one, how did McGarrett know which one it was (he picks it out quickly just by feeling the bags)? Was he just guessing?

Hale's rambling at the end was total B.S. ("We [the Coast Guard] got screwed around by HPD," "I am losing my pension," "My country owes me," etc.). He should have said "I want to speak to a lawyer." DUH!!

The opening yellow tinged shot of the hotels was awful, as were many others. I am sick of these shots! I can show dozens of shots of Honolulu from not only the old show, but also from other shows like Baywatch Hawaii which I was watching recently regarding the appearance of some Five-O actors. The local landscape does not have this look which is either yellow or the colors are totally off! UGH! The music was forgettable. The projected backgrounds as McGarrett and Danno were driving were annoying as usual, especially in one scene where the speed of the car as seen from outside did not match the following shot from inside. As well, this was another show where Danno obviously forgot to take his Midol.

On the positive side, Courtney (Jo Jo Levesque), the daughter of Dr. Norman Russell (John Sullivan), the kidnapped scientist and boss of the Tsunami Warning Center (TWC), was well developed, as was Tanya (Agnes Bruckner), the blonde hacker, who was super hot! But McGarrett and Danno's questioning of Tanya, making comments about how she wouldn't see her daughter for a long time, was lame. Something else positive: there was actually a shot from inside McGarrett and Danno's car looking outside as it was moving which was not a process shot!

On the dumb side was Dr. Russell using his daughter's name (CourtneyRose) as his top-secret password. How stupid was that? As well, this guy used the password "1015" as a wrong password to give people a clue regarding the time of the impending tsunami. Again, no one in their right mind would use a four-character password for such a secure login -- obviously it would get someone's attention as a result ... like maybe that of the bad guys! The way Chin Ho determined these two passwords by connecting to the TWC's computers was really unbelievable.

For this episode, the show changed its day of broadcast from Monday to Sunday following the Steelers-Jets AFC Championship Game and aired in primetime, allowing CBS to crush the competition in the ratings. But, seriously, they should have run either one of the two previous episodes after the game, not this one, which at the very most deserved two and a half stars for a "don't think about it too hard" rating.

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16. E Malama (To Protect)
Original air date: 02/07/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
A very good episode, which would score 3-1/2 stars on the "don't think about it too hard" scale.

There are two stories for the price of one, the first of which involves Danno's ex-wife Rachel and daughter Grace. They are carjacked while they are driving in the Mercedes belonging to the ex-wife's new husband Stan (Mark Deklin). The big question is: what is behind this? Is it connected to Wo Fat, or does it have something to do with a protected witness that Five-0 has to escort to the courthouse in Honolulu (though the carjacking happens around the time the team is being briefed on the witness by McGarrett).

Turns out that it has nothing to do with either of these. Instead, Stan's life got complicated after surreptitiously taping Housing Commissioner Bruce Hoffman (Barry Levy) who wanted his palm greased a bit too much and then threatening to use the tape to expose the guy's corruption. This throws Danno into a major tizzy after he figures out what is going on, and gives him the opportunity for some great lines. The Housing Commissioner himself is kind of a pleasant-looking guy, though, not someone sinister and slimy as we might expect (certainly not someone who would hire two nasty looking goons to scare the crap out of a little girl).

The main plotline for the show has to do with the protected witness, Julie Masters (Mariana Klaveno), who is being guarded by an FBI agent in the Kahuku area. She witnessed the murder of a dockworker by Aron Brenner (Robert Prescott), her boss at Handmade Imports, who it turns out is "a major distributor for the Baja drug cartel" (a topical bunch of bad guys who are probably less offensive than other politically-correct organizations and nationalities). Of course, her testimony can "put him away for life" ... he might even get the death penalty (even though Hawaii doesn't have the death penalty!).

The FBI agent gets knocked off almost immediately at the beginning of the show after he notices that one of the two "HPD cops" sent to escort him and Julie to the courthouse in Honolulu has a couple of bullet holes in the back of his shirt from where he knocked off one of the two real cops. Julie manages to escape from the safe house by using hairspray as a blowtorch on one of the two killers, which is a prelude to a chase by McGarrett and Chin Ho through the jungle to find her.

When they do find her, there are the usual topographic issues. Julie is pursued by the two hired guns. McGarrett and Chin follow them all, but they find Julie before running into the bad guys, who you would suspect are between them and her. Did she hide and the two guys (who, like McGarrett, seem to have native Indian-like tracking abilities) miss her, but then kept going, and after McGarrett found her they doubled back?

Sort of like a woman who enjoys cleaning her house in the nude, Navy SEAL McGarrett slathers some black camouflage-like paint on his face and goes all Predator, rigging up a heavy chunk of log which he uses to knock out one of the bad guys after he sends Chin and Julie back in the direction of the courthouse. (Notice at the end of the show when he gets back to town, the black paint is gone. Maybe his SEAL backpack includes cold cream.)

Despite the fact the bad guys are "professional assasins," they seem to have difficulty hitting the side of the proverbial barn door. One of them takes potshots (and misses) at Chin and Julie after the latter mistakenly tumbles over a cliff, while a third killer (equally professional, one would suspect) can't hit Chin and Julie when they escape on a motorcycle later in the show. During this sequence, McGarrett suddenly appears out of nowhere, conveniently near the road where the third guy is pursuing Chin and Julie in a Ford which gets seriously damaged after McGarrett pumps several bullets into it (and its driver).

Thanks to Chin Ho, Julie does manage to arrive at the courthouse, and things don't look good for Brenner. Kono has been busy running facial recognition software on the three bad guys. How the computer can identify them from photos based on the airline manifest staggers the mind, but not as much as the shot showing them unloading stuff from an van, which I don't think has anything to do with their arrival at the airport a few days before. (This software even manages to switch from a view above to a view on the side, similar to the movie Blade Runner.) Does Hawaii have all-pervasive surveillance cameras everywhere similar to the United Kingdom? Kono originally isolates these three guys by the fact that all of them paid CASH for their flight from Costa Rica, a very "unprofessional" move on their part. Like what is a better way to call attention to themselves. DUH!

There is a fourth member of the hit team, a "cleaner" (Malia Mathis) who will take care of things if all else fails. Kono's efforts reveal her to be a woman ... who is the co-counsel for Brenner! There are a lot of questions about how this was set up. Obviously, she didn't arrive on the plane with the three men. But then why would she be seen helping them unload stuff from the van in the surveillance photo? She would want to keep her connection with them as secret as possible. I'm sure she was in Hawaii from a long time before, and the other defense counsel (the sleazy guy who Kono totally bitches out) knew all about her. She could have been trying to pull herself off as an attorney from the mainland who was licensed to practice in Hawaii as far as the prosecuting attorney was concerned, for example. But how did she get a gun into the courthouse? Don't they have metal detectors?

Whatever! Kono rushes to the courthouse in the nick of time and in a total kick-ass fight, the best one with Kono since the season's first episode after the pilot, takes care of the "cleaner" woman.

I liked this episode because it was fast-paced and focused more on Kono and Chin Ho than normal. Danno's obligatory rant with McGarrett was not that annoying (though I'm sure McGarrett didn't appreciate getting it at such a crucial time), and was relevant to the plot. And guess what ... the photography was VERY good, none of the usual yellowish tinge! Even the music for the teaser made me think for a few seconds that someone other than the usual "team" had worked on it, but it didn't take long to fall back into the usual "won't STFU" mode. As in Ke Kinohi, the action on screen made the music less prominent.

Speaking of the music (and I see that I have never mentioned this on these pages), why can't they incorporate some of Morton Stevens' original theme into the underscore, just like the producers of the Star Trek movies have done with Alexander Courage's theme from the original TV show? After all, CBS owns the rights to the music, don't they? They have brought Duke Lukela (Dennis Chun, Kam Fong's son -- good for him!) back into the show three times now, but after 15 episodes, there hasn't even been one snippet of the iconic music, other than the main and closing titles.

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17. Powa Maka Moana (Pirates)
Original air date: 02/14/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits

This show, where the plot again was pretty logical, had a potentially interesting idea -- Tongan pirates (presumably this was cleared with the politically correct censors) kidnap a catamaran full of partying spring breakers whose parents are rich. But there were far too many similarities to previous shows. For example, once again it is about a KIDNAPPING (by my count, over half the shows seen so far have some connection to this subject*), there were the usual red herrings, and a guest star puts in far too little time at the beginning of the show, leading to unnecessary (and in this case, quickly resolved) speculation about what their role will be at the end of the show.

The guest stars for this show were real-life couple Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo. The very hot Minnillo played Susan, first mate on the catamaran, and the pirates didn't waste any time about boarding the boat, knocking off the captain and abducting the dozen or so students. McGarrett and Danno were summoned from some middle-of-nowhere road where they were trying to push the iconic 1974 Mercury Marquis Brougham that McGarrett was restoring. In the next scene they are on a Coast Guard ship (without the usual "thanks to the Coast Guard" credit such as appeared on the old show). The dialogue during this sequence was practically incomprehensible.

Five-0 has to deal with the rich kids' parents who quickly arrive. McGarrett makes a big speech to them full of the usual clichés about "don't co-operate with the kidnappers," "giving in to their demands will cause more harm than good," "let us do our job," etc. Of course one of the couples doesn't heed his advice, and their son is inexplicably murdered anyway. (The father of this couple, Morris Brown, is played by Ray Wise of Twin Peaks fame.) The scene where McGarrett's speech was delivered was lame (probably intentionally, to demonstrate that Five-0 really didn't know much at that point), as was the Five-0 dress code, considering all the parents were dressed to the nines and Five-0 looked like slobs.

Five-0 rounds up the usual suspects, including some other "pirates" who fleece tourists on the high seas. Their leader, Saloni, was played by Branscombe Richmond, who was the bad guy in the little-seen 1997 Hawaii Five-O pilot directed by Stephen Cannell ("Busey Five-O"). This is the red herring, because these guys have an iron clad alibi.

To find these "other pirates," McGarrett employs some extreme interrogation techniques with the owner of a pawn shop, attaching a grenade to the security door which leads to the shop's back room. One wonders if the show will produce a merchandising tie-in with a Navy SEAL backpack containing grenades and other goodies. Although the dialogue for this scene was amusing, the civil rights aspect, as usual, was dumb. I figured instead they were going to get the bulky Kamekona (seen just moments before) to break the door down.

Further investigation leads to a suspect who gave the kids free passes to the catamaran. His eyes are matched to one of the pirates via biometric scanning, despite the fact that one of the photos is from a cel phone video made by one of the kids as the pirates were boarding. It also leads to a kick-ass stunt by Kono, who leaps over an escalator to nab some other guy who has some connection to the kidnapped kids.

Up to this point, no one (other than most of the viewing audience) seems to figure out that (SPOILER COMING) Lachey's character, Tyler, the fiance of Susan, who was seen for a few seconds earlier as his girl friend returned to land after the kidnapping is ... THE BAD GUY. The two of them are in cahoots to extort the money and leave town ASAP. The new show already set a precedent with this kind of disappearing guest star in Ko'olauloa, the surfing show, where Kevin Sorbo appeared briefly at the beginning and at the end also turned out to be THE BAD GUY.

McGarrett shows himself to be clever at the end, revealing they figured out it was Tyler because he used Susan's name when making his demands for her to deliver the ransom money, whereas her name was never mentioned in the newspaper story about the case. The ending, with a happy reunion between the kids and their parents (exception: Morris Brown and his wife) was accompanied by cloying music. (Surprising to me, some of the other underscore had a few sequences which were almost tolerable.)

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*Shows about kidnapping in some shape or form. (McGarrett: "I've handled many kidnapping cases personally." Yeah -- right!)

1. Pilot - McGarrett's father is kidnapped and murdered
2. Ohana - computer/security geek is kidnapped by Serbians to take down Oahu radar and help them peddle goods to mysterious foreigners.
4. Lanakila - crazed convict kidnaps his former partner; when he loses control of the guy, he flees to another island, kidnapping a tourist family.
5. Nalowale - daughters of Philippine ambassador are kidnapped to make him co-operate with rebels; one is murdered.
7. Ho'apono - Navy SEAL unjustly accused of killing his wife takes USS Missouri tourists hostage.
11. Palekaiko - psycho upset by bad relationship experiences kidnaps two tourist women.
13. Ke Kinohi - McGarrett's sister is kidnapped by sinister forces concerned about what she found in the tool box.
15. Kaie'e - Daughter of tsunami center scientist is kidnapped so he will co-operate with the bad guys.
17. Powa Maka Moana - Tongan "pirates" kidnap a catamaran full of kids celebrating spring break.


18. Loa Aloha (The Long Goodbye)
Original air date: 02/21/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
This was an above average show. One of the two plots had some problems, but the other made up for any shortcomings. As well, I was particularly impressed by the fact that the show's photography didn't exhibit any of the usual obnoxious yellow tinge AT ALL.

The show began with the murder of the daughter of "hanging judge" Raymond Kamalei, played by veteran character actor Clyde Kusatsu, who appeared in the original show's ninth season episode "Yes, My Deadly Daughter." She plummeted to her death when a zip line she was taking in the Kawailoa Forest Reserve collapsed after an explosion. Soon after this, the son of Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chen (Eric Nemoto) was blown up in his car. Five-0 determined that the most likely suspect (after the usual red herrings were eliminated) was Travis Roan. His son Thomas had been jailed for 18 months by Kamalei for a DUI charge and had been subsequently murdered in a prison brawl. Roan Senior had been in jail in his home state of Wyoming on an aggravated assault charge for the last seven years and released only recently, but not in time to see his son again.

Although Roan, creepily played by Theo Coumbis, was a menacing character who had demolition experience in the past and according to Chin Ho, "[knew] his way around a construction site," one has to wonder how he could have obtained dynamite legally on Oahu, assuming he didn't bring it with him from the mainland -- which would have probably been detected by the airline baggage inspection. As well, how could he know the phone numbers of the judge and prosecutor and where they and their children were going to be at exactly a certain time? One also has to also wonder how Roan could travel to Hawaii if he was on parole, considering Chin said he couldn't have visited his son in jail on Oahu because "former felons aren't allowed."

Quick work by Kono enabled Five-0 to avoid a third explosion vaporizing the public defender Diana Meachum (Brooke Alexander), who did an ineffectual job for Roan's son in court. This scene might have been more suspenseful, though, if Meachum's son had taken his bomb-filled knapsack with him when he and his mother exited their car in a hurry after a call from McGarrett.

All of this was going on while Danno's investment advisor brother Matt (Dane Cook) arrived in Hawaii, supposedly for a vacation. He was being shadowed by FBI agents because he was suspected of bilking $58 million in funds from his investors and likely to flee from the States to another jurisdiction. Danno was shocked to learn from Matt that this was all true. As well, Matt met with a Colombian drug lord whose money he was going to launder in Singapore. There were numerous "awww" moments between Uncle Matt and Danno's daughter Grace, as well as Danno's ex-wife Rachel, who hung out with all of them (her new husband Stan was nowhere to be seen). The banter between Danno and McGarrett was minimal, and the acting between Scott Caan and Cook exemplary, especially comedian Cook, taking a serious role like Rich Little and Frank Gorshin in the original series.

The end of the show, where Danno tried to prevent his brother from fleeing the country by plane, was kind of dumb, however. Why couldn't McGarrett, who had super powers to get the Governor to convince the FBI agents to tell him what they were up to pursuing Matt, order the plane NOT to leave Hawaii? Or if worse came to worse, why didn't Danno just shoot out the plane's tires, since it was sitting right in front of him?

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19. Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio (Heroes and Villains)
Original air date: 03/21/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits

This show did not start out well. The banter between McGarrett and Danno over Danno's bag lunch at the beginning was painful to listen to, as was some of the conversation later when they were driving. Aside from this, the show was pretty good, though extremely complicated.

This was another multi-level story. There was far too much information in this show, combined with exposition which treats the audience as clueless, all backed up with the non-stop chunka-chunka-chunka music. On the positive side, I thought the color was much improved over the usual. The nighttime shot of Honolulu near the end was really gorgeous.

This show introduces us to CIA operative Jenna Kaye (played by Larisa Oleynik -- the name is reminiscent of federal bigshot Jonathan Kaye in the original series). She takes leave from her low-level analyst job in Virginia to come to Hawaii to track down Wo Fat, who was responsible for the murder of her financé three years before. She tries to push McGarrett around using her CIA credentials, but he manages to get background information on her which totally blows her cover. From Jenna we learn some information about Wo Fat: that he was an agent in the Ministry of State Security (MSS), the Chinese Government's intelligence arm, responsible for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations. After achieving the rank of Colonel, Wo disappeared, later to emerge as a major player in the criminal underworld, where he killed at least 23 people.

The show begins with a man named Alex Baker, dressed in a comic book character costume, being thrown several stories off a hotel, landing on a cabana below. This leads Danno and McGarrett to a geeky comic book convention where a woman in the guise of "Psycho Kitty" (Aimee Zannoni) says she was Baker's Internet girl friend. Her ex-husband Trevor Wright (Nick Masciangelo) had shown up from the mainland and threatened to kill Baker. Trevor is duly tracked down, but says he didn't do it, and has an iron-clad alibi. Chin and Kono go to Baker's hotel room, but find no signs of a struggle. In the room immediately above, there is a broken window, so they speculate that Baker got drunk in the hotel bar, presumably to drown his sorrows over being threatened by Trevor, and while returning to his room, he got off the the wrong floor and knocked on the door of the room above his just as someone was waiting there to kill whoever was really booked into the room. A Rolex watch from this room (question to think about later: why is this watch in the room?) is traced to lawyer Richard Davis (D.B. Sweeney), but he is out of town, according to his wife Anne (Perrey Reeves). A stolen credit card used to pay for the room is traced to Jonathan de Mille (a.k.a. Johnny D) (James Ransone), who is a high-spender frequenting a local strip club. Kono and Danno hack into Johnny D's cel phone and, pretending to be Johnny's stripper girl friend Tiffany Martin, get him to show up at the club, where McGarrett and Chin give chase. In the Five-0 interrogation chamber, Johnny D says he also didn't kill Baker. Johnny, who was hiding out at the hotel after he found out someone was after him, turns out to be a thief who has a garage full of stolen goods, including a snow globe that contains a memory card. This card reveals a video showing a man with Lindsey Roberts (Kristina Waiau), a young woman who was found dead after being missing three years before. The parents of the dead girl identify the women in the photo as lawyer Davis, her boss. When he is arrested, Davis says he also didn't do it. It turns out (finally) that the person who did it was Davis's wife Anne who found out that he was having an affair, thanks to a hidden camera in her husband's office, and after inviting Roberts to her house, she clubbed Roberts to death with a baseball bat that her husband had in his sports memorabilia collection. (Chin Ho remembers the bat from when he originally visited Davis's house and talked to the wife about the stolen Rolex.) The wife then got her thuggish personal trainer to track down Johnny D and kill him (instead, he killed Baker). Is that complicated enough?

What is amazing -- when Davis is arrested near the end of the show, Kono actually reads him his rights! Later, after Davis says that he didn't kill Roberts, his wife is taken to Five-0 headquarters. She asks for a lawyer, but instead totally falls apart and starts blabbing why she did it in front of the Five-0 team. Don't Americans really know about the Miranda decision?

With information from Jenna, McGarrett is discovering more about Wo Fat, who turns up near the end of the show for a tense confrontation in a Chinese noodle restaurant. Accompanied by Bourne-like music (also heard when Chin and Kono are investigating in the hotel room earlier), Wo tells McGarrett not to dig too deeply into the past, or he may not like what he sees. This was a very cool scene -- Wo Fat definitely needs more screen time!

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20. Ma Ke Kahakai (Shore)
Original air date: 04/11/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
Yet another two-part show which was sort of successful because of "family" issues in each part.

The show begins with Danno and McGarrett reliving the latter's childhood memories, climbing in the local hills to see some petroglyphs which McGarrett and his father used to check out many years before. McGarrett is much better equipped for the outing, including his MacGyver backpack containing rappelling gear and duct tape, among other things. The plot thickens quickly when McGarrett finds a body at the base of a nearby cliff. McGarrett has some kind of sixth sense regarding this body being where it is, because you can plainly see from the shot behind and above him that that he can NOT see this body until he actually goes to the edge of the cliff. While investigating, McGarrett is struck by rocks and falls down the cliff, breaking his arm. Danno is quick to summon help, and avoids the usual mindless chatter as a result.

The body belongs to Jack Leung (Joji Yoshida), a man who worked for Kinkirk Fishing Charters, a company co-owned by himself and his son Sean (James Kyson-Lee, like Masi Oka, from "Heroes"). Leung was recently arrested for an altercation with the scuzzy Sal Groves (Evan Jones) when he refused to get involved in Groves' meth dealing which involved the use of his boat. Although he doesn't seem like a geeky type of guy, a computer that Leung used is duly analyzed and reveals he was looking at web pages connected with Jordan Rutherford -- suspected, but never charged, in the "Spring Break Strangler" death some time before of Vicki Hailama, a young woman. Leung had a job moonlighting at High Blue Jet Charters, a local company (determined from some jet biofuel that he had on his clothing, blah blah blah), and recognized Rutherford when his father Donald (Wayne Duvall) hired a plane to take him out of the country to Hong Kong where the father had business connections through the Lotus Leaf Holding Company, an import outfit with real estate holdings. Leung was subsequently knocked off by the father, though how it was arranged to throw his body out of the plane to the spot where McGarrett found it is another question.

A bullet found in Leung's body (which passed through a relatively hard-to-find fish from his boat, identified by an ichthyologist friend of Chin Ho at the university - how convenient!) that leads to a guest appearance by local chef Masaharu Morimoto at his sushi restaurant is tracked to a gun owned by Rutherford. The Five-0 team go to Rutherford's father's house where the old man is in hiding in a basement room. When confronted by McGarrett and Danno, he blabs away (once again without a lawyer) about how his son was innocent and he knocked off Leung to keep his son's departure from the country a secret.

The second plot line has to do with Chin Ho's troubles with the police force over the money that he was suspected of stealing. It turns out that Chin took the fall for his uncle Keako (veteran actor Sab Shimono) who was the one who actually took the money ($200,000) to buy a black market kidney for his wife and Chin's aunt Mele (Elizabeth Sung), who is gravely ill. When Chin shows up at his uncle's house where family members have gathered to give the aunt their last respects, people give him weird looks.

There were major "Awwww" moments in this show, both between Kono, Chin and the auntie as well as between Five-0 and Leung's son and grandson. Let's face it, I'm a sucker for any show where Grace Park sheds a tear!

The photography in the show was above-average and the focus on ordinary people like Leung and his family was a nice change. The music was nothing special, and song at the end (which was R.E.M.'s Walk It Back, according to someone who contacted me about it) was cloying. Not because I have anything against this group or this song specifically, but because this was yet another blatant example of emotional manipulation (of which there have been several examples during the show's first season), telling you what to think.

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21. Ho'opa'i (Revenge)
Original air date: 04/18/11 Opening Credits -- End Credits
I quite liked this show (gee -- two weeks in a row!).

Guest star on this episode was Sean ("Diddy") Combs. He did a good job playing FBI agent Reggie Williams, on the trail of mainland crime boss Jimmy Cannon (Keith David) who comes to Hawaii to visit his son Richard (Hurshae Summons). At the beginning of the show, Williams' wife gets knocked off while he is visiting her in a "safe house." Williams himself is badly wounded, as is one of the FBI agents accompanying him. (The second agent is killed.) It's obvious that someone blabbed about Williams' arrival. The big question is who?

McGarrett and Danno go to confront Cannon, driving their car through the wooden gate at his son's estate, seemingly without causing any major damage to their car, and then throw a lot of baseless accusations against the crime boss. Getting nowhere, they then go after the shooters at the safe house, tracing one of them through the usual ridiculous enhancement techniques from video footage captured by security cameras. This guy turns out to be dead (suspected to be killed by Williams himself who has fled from his hospital bed to exact revenge on whoever killed his wife). The second shooter gets killed when he draws a gun on McGarrett, but the bullets in his gun -- tungsten-tipped, a trademark of Cannon's gang -- are shown to have less fire power than normal. Next in line in the suspects list is the leader of FBI task force, Allison Marsh (Cara Buono), who was conveniently away during the action at the safe house. Marsh is very hot-looking, but her life is problematic thanks to her ex-husband who was trying to abscond with their child. The final suspect is Art Newman (Nicholas G. Gianforti), the FBI agent who was wounded during the shootout, who caves in completely when questioned by McGarrett and threatened by Williams. He was the one that tipped off Cannon's son Richard about Williams' arrival for a princely fee. Richard's character was far too wimpy -- he looked like he was going to cry when McGarrett was grilling his dad earlier in the show. On the other hand, Keith David gave a great performance -- too bad he is a mainland crime boss, otherwise he could be the next Tony Alika.

Kono once again demonstrates her "magic power" with kids, specifically Williams' son Kevin (Kwesi Boakye), who witnessed his mother's murder, saying silly lines like how she is a special police agent to help moms who get hurt. This is a routine that should be toned down in the next season. On the positive side, the color of the photography (especially the usual "stock shots") in this episode was outstanding. I can't believe it took them 21 shows to finally get to this point. Unfortunately, the music was the usual cliché-ridden garbage. Danno was relatively subdued as well, which was also a good thing.

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22. Ho’ohuli na’au (Close to Heart)
Original air date: 05/02/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
Rick Springfield stars as fashion photographer Renny Sinclair, who doesn't survive past the main titles. He is trapped in his trailer with a bicycle lock on the door, and the trailer is set on fire, resulting in a dramatic explosion. Considering the door of the trailer is facing the beach where the photo shoot was going on, it's interesting that no one sees who is responsible, not only starting the fire, but dropping a fancy lighter into the gas can.

There are a couple of suspects among the hot supermodels that Renny was photographing, the first his former girlfriend Jordan (Angela Lindvall), the second his current one, Alana (Serinda Swan), who was expecting to marry him and is pregnant with his child. When interviewed by Danno and McGarrett and Danno respectively, the two have conflicting stories.

Later, Danno finds phone records that suggest Renny was gambling big time and running into serious debt with local bookie Derek Marcum (Andy Trask), who Chin Ho busted several years before. Marcum drives a Porsche, and I started screaming at the TV in the scene where they are looking at a surveillance photo of his car taken near the crime scene. From far above, they zoom in and manage to see his license plate number which is conveniently bent up a bit, a gimmick straight out of the old's show's tenth season episode (one of the very worst) "When Does A War End?" To top this off, they then zoom in on Marcum himself, even though he isn't clearly visible in the long shot at all, an extension of the techniques used in the old show where somehow you could take a picture (often a very bad picture) and blow it up so that it would clearer than the original.

Kono is teamed up with forensics expert Charlie Fong (shades of Che, from the old show) who has a mysterious connection to her past, namely a party when they were very young and played spin-the-bottle. The two of them trace the gasoline used to incinerate Renny from a Lex Brodie gas station (a real company).

Meanwhile, Chin Ho is conflicted over the Internal Affairs hearing regarding the $200,000 which was stolen from the police evidence locker and was used to buy his now deceased aunt a bootleg kidney. Chin tells the IA panel that he was he one who stole the money, despite the fact his uncle, who stole it, told him to tell the truth -- the implication being that if the uncle is connected with the theft, then all of the past convictions of crooks he put in jail will be called into question. When the head of the panel tells Chin that this is odd, because there is no evidence that the money ever was used, Chin says that he never spent it. As a result, the panel tells him to produce the money ASAP.

With the help of Kamekona, who owes Marcum money, McGarrett and Danno get the attention of a couple of the bookie's thugs. When the two guys try to escape, Danno and McGarrett chase after them, jumping over cars and picnic tables. Danno somehow manages to get ahead of the guy he is chasing so he can throw hot coals from a hibachi in his face. The next scene is kind of dumb, when Steve and Danno take the two guys back to the bookie joint to talk to their boss, and it says on the screen "Marcum's House - Kahala." Like where else were they going?

More investigation by Danno reveals that Rennie left a large amount of money in trust to a "Pauline Lucero," who it's determined is the daughter of a model that the photographer was involved with many years before. This "Pauline Lucero" turns out to be "Amy" (Andrea Bowen), a gofer at the photography shoot who torched her father because he failed to support her mother when she got sick and died, oblivious to the fact that her father really did want to take care of her.

At the end of the show, there are suggestions that Kono and Charlie may get romatically involved; on the other hand, Chin Ho, desperate to replace the $200,000, offers the deed of his house to the sleazy bookie Marcum who, like both McGarrett and Danno, is very much in need of a shave..

Overall, I liked this episode, because it was pretty logical. The photography and scenery in this episode were again outstanding, though I wish the camera would sit still. The music was less obnoxious than usual. The scene with McGarrett and Alana on the beach, which had several crucial elements vital to understanding the plot, was difficult to understand because of the sound mix. Danno's OCD chatter was not much in evidence, and there was only one car ride with rear projection, which was brief.

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23. Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau (Until the End is Near)
Original air date: 05/09/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
Another exercise in "not the usual suspects," this was a good show, though the quality of the photography (yellowish, not crisply focused) and, as usual, the mediocre music were disappointing.

At the beginning of the show, McGarrett and the SWAT team break into a safe house, assuming that they will capture Wo Fat. Instead they encounter the people smuggler Sang Min. No explanation for his having escaped from prison is offered until later in the show when Kamekona says words to the effect that he broke out "a few months ago." There is a spectacular explosion in the doorway of the safe house which wipes out the cops breaking down the door, the first of many stunts in this show. Sang Min manages to elude the Five-0 team, escaping into a house three doors down which conveniently is where the major plotline for the show begins. There Danno finds a man who is dead on the floor, and, soon after, Danno starts to feel the effects of the toxic chemical sarin, which was in some milk that the dead man had ingested and was splashed on the floor. After he is rushed to the hospital, Jenna Kaye, who also conveniently had experience with the CIA division that concerned itself with toxic chemicals, says that Danno likely absorbed the sarin when he touched the dead man's neck to feel for a pulse. (This is the subject of some debate; sarin can also be inhaled.) She tells McGarrett that sarin brokers are "looking for new customers," and that it is easily available on the black market.

The dead man is identified as Amoka Mulitalo (uncredited actor), and when the owners of the property, Jeff and Sheila Fallon, are questioned about him, they have no idea who he is. Both Fallons were supposed to return to Hawaii a week before, but their plans got changed. Attention turns to Gabriel Delgado (Kelvin Yu), their caretaker, who was recently fired for writing checks to himself with Fallon's money. Delgado, a man with a history of violence, is tracked down by Chin and Kono at the Downbeat Diner, a real place located at 42 N Hotel St. Captured after trying to escape, Delgado says that he stole the money to pay for medical treatment for his son who has leukemia. He knows nothing about the sarin in the milk container, or even what sarin is. Mulitalo is a drifter who he met at the clinic where he took his son for medical treatment. Delgado let Mulitalo crash at the house.

A spare key that Mulitalo used to let himself into the house reveals a fingerprint from Eliot Connor (James Remar, the father from Dexter), Fallon's brother-in-law, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Fallon's multinational manufacturing company named Fallon Global. There have been recent news releases about trouble between Connor and Fallon over cost overruns at a facility in China, which led to rumours that Connor was about to be dismissed from his position. McGarrett gets Connor to admit that he was using the house as a love shack while having an affair with Chloe Ballantine (Bre Blair), his secretary.

Although there are suggestions that Jenna is on the outs with the CIA, she manages to get someone at the head office to analyze the sarin, and it's determined that it is connected with a terror group in Chechnya. Another nice coincidence, one of the group's members, Mikhail Yursky (a second uncredited actor!) arrived in Honolulu five days ago. Kono determines that under the alias of Lev Nikolaevich, Yursky is using a credit card and has a flight (EJ 924) booked to Sibu, Borneo on Suva Airlines (seat A 15 in business (first) class, non smoking, fish meal). In an incredible scene, Kono manages to tap into an ATM machine where Yursky is attempting to withdraw money. McGarrett and Chin Ho surprise him at the ATM, but Yursky flees and soon commits suicide with the sarin. In the trunk of his car, they find 36 metal canisters which are known for use in transporting sarin and other dangerous chemicals.

These canisters lead to their manufacturer, Fallon's company (another coinkydink!), where two and two are put together, and Connor is confronted with phone calls which Yursky made to the office a few days before. When he tells Five-0 that he was out of town on the days the calls were taken, suspicion falls on the secretary Chloe, who attempts to flee. She is caught in the parking garage and shortly after admits (once again someone blabbing without a lawyer) that after Yursky's request to purchase the canisters was turned down because of government regulations, she somehow arranged for him to buy them for a price (exactly how is not stated) and also arranged for him to plant sarin in Fallon's house to kill both Jeff and Sheila (how and when the sarin was actually brought into Hawaii is also not stated). The idea here was, when Connor divorced his wife, the two of them would live happily ever after.

There are a couple of subplots in the show. The main one is Danno getting poisoned, which results in several "Awww" moments with him and his daughter Gracie and his ex-wife Rachel. Danno confides to McGarrett near the end of the show that Rachel's marriage is not working out too well and they have been seeing each other for a while. Chin Ho also has to face the music over the $200,000 which he returned to the cops, thinking that the serial numbers on the bills were untraceable. This was a ruse set up by HPD, who knew the serial numbers all along, and they do not match those on the bills which Chin got from Marcum, the money launderer.

The show ends with Sang Min appearing at Five-0 headquarters, telling them that he will co-operate in any way to nail Wo Fat, who is coming after him ... and then McGarrett.

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24. Oia'i'o (Trust)
Original air date: 05/16/11 -- Opening Credits -- End Credits
The season finale was another kick ass episode featuring Wo Fat, highly reminiscent of cliffhangers for "24" and similar shows. I had predicted earlier that either the Governor (Jean Smart) or her assistant Laura Hills (Kelly Hu) would bite the bullet ... but I was only half right. (Both actresses are involved with other shows next season.) Hills was blown to smithereens with a Claymore mine rigged in her car in the opening scene, which was later tracked to arms dealer Dale O'Reilly (Val Lauren), a defense contractor who sold the device to "McGarrett." A suggestion of some romantic interest between Hills and Chin Ho, combined with the redeveloping relationship between Danno and his wife (who revealed she was pregnant), suggested there was a considerable time gap between this and the previous show. There was also the unexplained issue of why Chin Ho was being reinstated at the beginning and seemingly forgiven. Chief Makaha (Kelvin Han Yee), who was offering Chin his badge back, reinstated with the position of lieutenant in HPD, was far too nice about it, saying that the way Chin handled the issue of the money his uncle stole "showed character." The plot thickens quickly, because McGarrett is being set up big time, his fingerprints found all over Hills' house, where he has never been. Hills is revealed to be the one sending McGarrett clues relating to his father's murder taken from the toolbox stolen earlier from his house by Hiro Nishimuri and his yakuza pals. The last clue McGarrett gets before Hills' death is a key to an antique dresser, something that the Governor just happens to have in her office that McGarrett spies when he and Danno visit her. This motivates McGarrett to break into the Governor's place to get into this dresser (complete with a closeup of the lock from inside). Later, after he is accused of Hills' murder by the Governor and nearly arrested by HPD, McGarrett breaks into the mansion again, overpowering four security guards, and then confronts the Governor in a very tense scene. He is then knocked out by Wo Fat with a taser, who shoots the Governor and makes it look like McGarrett did it. At the end, not only is McGarrett busted, but Kono as well, for her participation in stealing the money from the police evidence locker several shows earlier. With Chin Ho now working back at HPD (and in charge of arresting his former boss), only Danno, who has been the "voice of reason" in the episode, is left to try and make things right next season. The photography for this show was exceptional, especially the outdoor shots, and there were some very nice shots of Danno and McGarrett indoors like at Five-O headquarters and in the governor's office, with the sunlight from outside filtering through. I had a good laugh at the music when McGarrett was snooping through the desk in the Governor's office. There were a couple of loud plucked harp notes and tremolo violins -- exactly like on Lost! In fact, during the scene, the level of suspense really reminded me of that show.

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